Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fountains of Rome

In honor of the resignation of Silvio Berlusconi and the recursion of some sanity in Italian politics (if only for a moment), I have elected to present some of the other things that make Rome fairly awesome. Today, it's the fountains. Now, most of you will have seen or heard of the Trevi fountain (it's the original 'toss in a coin, make a wish' sort), but it is impossible to arrange a detailed shot of that enormous structure without standing in the pool with all of the city's money, and the carabinieri don't appreciate that very much.
So instead, we have these two. The one on the left is The Fountain of the Tortoises in the Piazza Mattei, so called because there are several wee tortoises being tipped into the pool. The fountain (sans tortoises) was constructed from marble by Giacomo della Porta (architect) and Taddeo Landini (sculptor) in the late 16th century. The bronze tortoises were added, it is believed, by Bernini in the mid-17th century, because the original bronze dolphins were not achieving the proper water pressure, I suppose from size issues.
The one on the right is the Fountain of the Triton, executed by Bernini in the Piazza Barbarini from marble in the mid-17th century (because that, as we have established, is when he was alive). The pinecone-looking thing at the apex of the shell is the triple-crown of the popes, seeing as in both cases these fountains were executed to provide access to pure water from the reconstructed Acqua Virgine roman aqueduct (which terminates at the Trevi). These fountains marry exquisite (if noticeably Baroque in the Triton's case) detail with functionality.
On Thursday, we'll explore some other Roman awesemnity. Probably something churchified, but maybe not. Stay tuned.

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