The Ross Fountain was cast in the Durenne ironworks (nr Paris) in the early 1860's. It was an exhibit in the Great Exhibition in London in 1862 and was purchased for Edinburgh by Daniel Ross a local gun maker and philanthropist. It was transported in 122 pieces and eventually installed in West Princes Street Gardens in 1872.
The gold coloured iron structure shows a standing naked woman at the top above four more seated naked nymphettes representing the arts, science, poetry and industry. Below the first tier is a collection of mermaids. The celebration of the naked female is typical of classical French design, but it wasn't appreciated by everyone, Dean Ramsay (1793 - 1872) whose church, St. John's was nearby called the fountain "grossly indecent and disgusting"