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“.
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Completed in 1762 this is a relatively new addition to the Roman landscape, its largest and most famous fountain. The central figures are Neptune flanked by two Tritons. One struggles to master an unruly seahorse, the other leads a far more docile animal. These symbolize the contrasting moods of the sea. Neptune also graced us with a steady downpour of cold rain! more at http://www.kerstenbeck.com