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Mercury Fountain - The Source Of Mercury
- Oct 30, 2018 -

In 1936, the Spanish Civil War broke out, and General Franco's Francis movement controlled the mercury mine after surrounding the town of Almaden. This deprives the Spanish government of the financial revenues it receives from mercury exports and the right to obtain the metals used to make firearms. In order to gain international support, the Republican government commissioned the artist Alexander Calder to create a monument condemning the siege of Almaden. The fountain was exhibited at the 1937 Paris World Exhibition.


This is a simple, almost child-like creation consisting of a single riser that releases a narrow stream of liquid mercury into a series of curved aluminum troughs. After swaying on several basins and steps built along the way, the toxic liquid hits the blades like a blade before falling into a circular pool. The liquid striking the blade causes it to sway like the wind, and the entire device moves a series of rods, causing the iron pendant to swing gently. The pendant spells out the word "ALAMADEN".