Fontaine de Médicis

The Medici Fountain was built in 1630 by Marie de' Medici, the widow of King Henry IV and regent of King Louis XIII. It was designed by Tommaso Francini, a Florentine fountain maker and hydraulic engineer. It was in the form of a grotto, a popular feature of the Italian Renaissance garden. It fell into ruins during the 18th century, but in 1811 the fountain was restored by Jean Chalgrin. In 1864-66 it was moved to its present location, centered on the east front of the Palais du Luxembourg. The long basin of water was built and flanked by plane trees, and the sculptures of the giant Polyphemus surprising the lovers Acis and Galatea, by Auguste Ottin, were added to the grotto's rockwork.