Can you believe that someone actually vandalized the Fountain of the Moor with a large rock a few years ago? Fortunately they caught the vandal on tape. The objects that he damaged were actually copies instead of the original:
I love the Fountains in Piazza Navona. The Fountain of the Moor or Fontana del Moro is located at the southern end of elliptical shaped Piazza Navona. It has a basin with four Tritons sculpted by Giacomo della Porta in 1575. In 1673, Bernini designed and added the statue of a Moor (African) with a spouting fish. The vigorously twisting Moor is standing on a conch and wrestling with a dolphin in the center of the fountain.
Pope Gregory XIII (1572-1585) envisioned an ambitious plan to erect fountains in all of the main squares in Rome. Before Rome’s fountains were built, Roman’s drank water from the Tiber River. The river water was collected upstream and stored for a number of days by vendors called Aquarenari.
The fountains that were originally designed at the north and south end of the Piazza were separated by an enormous drinking trough for horses in the center of the square. Bernini‘s Fountain of the Four Rivers replaced this area. The fountain for the horses was subsequently moved to the Giardino del Lago in the Villa Borghese.
The Moro fountain was completed in 1575 and was originally adorned with decorations designed by Giacomo della Porta. These were transferred to a small square in Villa Borghese and the original masks and Triton figures were substituted with copies made by Luigi Amici in 1874.
The central figure in the fountain depicts a Moor wrestling with a dolphin by Antonio Mari. Mari sculpted this in 1654 using Bernini’s design. Bernini was responsible for the pool around the fountain basin using a plan designed by Borromini. Francesco Borromini was a leading figure in the emergence of Roman Baroque architecture.
Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Italy Travel Guides. To learn more about Rome’s fabulous fountains visit www.vino-con-vista.com