Famous sculpture by Marcel Duchamp

This is a very famous piece of art. You have seen reproductions of it in many art books over the years. It consists of a standard urinal set sideways. It's signed by "R. Mutt". It was a time when Duchamp was becoming increasingly disenfranchised with painting per se. He settled on this particular piece by going to a hardware store and looking through the inventory until he found it. It was submitted in 1917 to an exhibition of The New York Society of Independent Artists to test their sincerity in their pledge to accept ANY artwork into the exhibition. They failed the test, rejecting the piece. Fountain is essentially a urinal turned on it's side. This is an early example of what was later to be called Readymades. The original was lost, but some reproductions were approved by the artist and one now resides in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, another in the Tate Modern. Other readymades include the Bicycle wheel, and L.H.O.O.Q.

Related nodes:

Tomkins, Calvin, "DUCHAMP A Biography", Henry Holt and Co, NY, 1996 >Last Updated 07.21.03

In NetHack, fountains are a sick joke. While they seem to be soothing water sources, they are actually harbingers of doom. At low levels, drinking from one is frequently detrimental to your health or even fatal.

There are two major uses for fountains in NetHack: dipping things into them and quaffing from them. You can dip a potion into a fountain to dilute it. You can also dip scrolls or spellbooks into fountains to erase them. The problem with dipping things into fountains is that some of the bad random effects can still occur.

Quaffing from fountains gives a wide range of effects, a few of which are beneficial and the majority of which aren't so beneficial:

Due to the possibility of snakes, demons, nymphs, and contamination, quaffing from fountains at lower levels (as I have mentioned) is Very Dangerous and Not Recommended. It's rather like playing a slot machine...sometimes you can't resist the impulse to quaff anyways, despite the lousy odds. After any quaffing or dipping into a fountain, there is something like a 25% chance that it will dry up.

In heraldry, a fountain is a roundel (a disk) divided by wavy lines into six horizontal pieces, alternately white and blue. It is a common heraldic depiction of water, or of a source of water such as a spring (not necessarily a fountain in the everyday sense).

An alternative name is the syke, used in families of the name of Sykes.

Foun"tain (foun"tin), n. [F. fontaine, LL. fontana, fr. L. fons, fontis. See 2d Fount.]


A spring of water issuing from the earth.


An artificially produced jet or stream of water; also, the structure or works in which such a jet or stream rises or flows; a basin built and constantly supplied with pure water for drinking and other useful purposes, or for ornament.


A reservoir or chamber to contain a liquid which can be conducted or drawn off as needed for use; as, the ink fountain in a printing press, etc.


The source from which anything proceeds, or from which anything is supplied continuously; origin; source.

Judea, the fountain of the gospel.

Author of all being,
Fountain of light, thyself invisible.

Air fountain. See under Air. --
Fountain heead, primary source; original; first principle. Young. --
Fountain inkstand, an inkstand having a continual supply of ink, as from elevated reservoir. --
Fountain lamp, a lamp fed with oil from an elevated reservoir. --
Fountain pen, a pen with a reservoir in the handle which furnishes a supply of ink. --
Fountain pump.
(a) A structure for a fountain, having the form of a pump.
(b) A portable garden pump which throws a jet, for watering plants, etc. --
Fountain shell (Zoöl.), the large West Indian conch shell (Strombus gigas). --
Fountain of youth, a mythical fountain whose waters were fabled to have the property of renewing youth.


© Webster 1913

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