Le Fontane della Cordonata

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Title

Le Fontane della Cordonata

Description

At the foot of Michaelangelo's Cordonata, two identical lion fountains greet visitors climbing the steps to the Piazza del Campidoglio today, just as they once did in 1588. These Egyptian lion sculptures were placed at the foot of the Cordonata in 1582, but when the Acqua Felice's water reached the Capitol in 1588, Giacomo della Porta turned the statues into lively fountains.

The Acqua Felice's water brought fresh water to the Capitoline Hill for the first time in over a millenium, so the arrival of water in 1588, was celebrated as a victory for both the Pope and the people. Therefore, the lion, part of the Pope's heraldic arms, signified Sixtus V marking his influence on the Cordonata steps. Additionally, a public display of water in a popular location facilitated a site where the people could celebrate this new supply of water and be reminded of Sixtus V's contributions.

Creator

Giacomo della Porta

Source

Rinne, Katherine Wentworth. The Waters of Rome: Aqueducts, Fountains, and the Birth of the Baroque City. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010.

Rinne, Katherine Wentworth. "Aquae Urbis Romae." Waters of Rome. http://www3.iath.virginia.edu/waters/.

Morton, H. V. The Fountains of Rome. New York: Macmillan, 1966.

Pulvers, Marvin. Roman Fountains: 2000 Fountains in Rome: A Complete Collection. Roma: "L'Erma" Di Bretschneider, 2002.

Symmes, Marilyn F. Fountains, Splash and Spectacle: Water and Design from the Renaissance to the Present:. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1998.

Publisher

Roman Council

Date

1582-1288

Type

Fountain

Coverage

Rome, Italy

Citation

Giacomo della Porta, “Le Fontane della Cordonata,” Italian Baroque Art, accessed January 24, 2021, https://baroque.trinity.duke.edu/items/show/466.