Bernini’s Trevi Fountain, Rome

During our adventures in Rome, surprisingly we had a hard time finding the famous Trevi Fountain. It seemed like there was a fountain on every corner to which we exclaimed – this MUST be it! Well, it wasn’t! Finally, we stumbled across the Real Thing and as you can imagine it is hard to miss! Here is a bit of history behind this gorgeous behemoth:

In 1629 Pope Urban VIII, finding the earlier fountain insufficiently dramatic, asked Gian Lorenzo Bernini to sketch possible renovations, but when the Pope died, the project was abandoned. Though Bernini’s project was never constructed, there are many Bernini touches in the fountain as it exists today. An early, striking and influential model by Pietro da Cortona, preserved in the Albertina, Vienna, also exists, as do various early 18th century sketches, most unsigned, as well as a project attributed to Nicola Michetti one attributed to Ferdinando Fuga and a French design by Edme Bouchardon.

Competitions had become the rage during the Baroque era to design buildings, fountains, and even the Spanish Steps. In 1730 Pope Clement XII organized a contest in which Nicola Salvi initially lost to Alessandro Galilei – but due to the outcry in Rome over the fact that a Florentine won, Salvi was awarded the commission anyway. Work began in 1732, and the fountain was completed in 1762, long after Clement’s death, when Pietro Bracci‘s Oceanus (god of all water) was set in the central niche. Salvi died in 1751, with his work half-finished, but before he went he made sure a stubborn barber’s unsightly sign would not spoil the ensemble, hiding it behind a sculpted vase, called by Romans the asso di coppe, the “Ace of Cups“.

The Trevi Fountain was finished in 1762 by Giuseppe Pannini, who substituted the present allegories for planned sculptures of Agrippa and “Trivia”, the Roman virgin.

If you would like to purchase a Digital Download or Print,  just click on the picture and you will be transported to our photography website where many wonderful choice abound!

7 responses

  1. Great perspective here Erik, I love the cold blue tones of the water against the warm tones of the stone

    August 27, 2012 at 12:54 am

  2. Yes, I agree the perspective and color are exceptional. Like you, our first time to the Trevi was like, “Where is it?” And, the piazza in which the fountain is located seems so small for this huge fountain. Makes it hard to stand back and get it all in, never mind all people that are usually surrounding the place. I assume you got there early in the day?

    August 27, 2012 at 8:15 am

  3. Gorgeous 🙂

    August 27, 2012 at 9:48 am

  4. Pingback: Day 7 of our cruise: Rome « Le mot du (bon)jour

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s