The Trevi Fountain (Italian: Fontana di Trevi) is the largest — standing 25.9 meters (85 feet) high and 19.8 meters (65 feet) wide — and most ambitious of the Baroque fountains of Rome. It is located in the rione of Trevi.
1 Pre-1629 history of the aqueduct and the fountain site
Pre-1629 history of the aqueduct and the fountain site
The fountain at the juncture of three roads (tre vie) marks the terminal point of the Aqua Virgo (Italian: Acqua Vergine), one of the ancient aqueducts that supplied water to Rome. In 19 BC, supposedly with the help of a virgin, Roman technicians located a source of pure water some 13 km (8 miles) from the city. (This scene is presented on the present fountain's facade). However, the eventual indirect route of the aqueduct made its length some 22 km (14 miles). This Aqua Virgo led the water into the Baths of Agrippa. It served Rome for more than four hundred years. The "coup de grace" for the urban life of late classical Rome came when the Goth besiegers broke the aqueducts. Medieval Romans were reduced to drawing water from polluted wells and the Tiber River, which was also used as a sewer.
The Roman custom of building a handsome fountain at the endpoint of an aqueduct that brought water to Rome was revived in the 15th century, with the Renaissance. In 1453, Pope Nicholas V finished mending the Acqua Vergine aqueduct and built a simple basin, designed by the humanist architect Leon Battista Alberti, to herald the water's arrival.
The present fountain
Commission, construction and design
In 1629, Pope Urban VIII, finding the earlier fountain insufficiently dramatic, asked Bernini to sketch possible renovations, but when the Pope died the project was abandoned. Bernini's lasting contribution was to resite the fountain from the other side of the square to face the Quirinal Palace (so the Pope could look down and enjoy it). Though Bernini's project was torn down for Salvi's fountain, there are many Bernini touches in the fountain as it was built. An early, striking and influential model by Pietro da Cortona also exists.
Competitions had become the rage during the Baroque 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 'Neptune' 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. The Trevi Fountain was finished in 1762 by Giuseppe Pannini, who substituted the present bland allegories for planned sculptures of Agrippa and "Trivia", the Roman virgin.
The fountain was refurbished in 1998; and the stonework was scrubbed and the fountain provided with recirculating pumps.
The backdrop for the fountain is the Palazzo Poli, given a new facade with a giant order of Corinthian pilasters that link the two main stories. Taming of the waters is the theme of the gigantic scheme that tumbles forward, mixing water and rockwork, and filling the small square. Tritons guide Neptune's shell chariot, taming seahorses (hippocamps).
In the center is superimposed a robustly modelled triumphal arch. The center niche or exedra framing Neptune has free-standing columns for maximal light-and-shade. In the niches flanking Neptune, Abundance spills water from her urn and Salubrity holds a cup from which a snake drinks. Above, bas reliefs illustrate the Roman origin of the aqueducts.
The tritons and horses provide symmetrical balance, with the maximum contrast in their mood and poses (by 1730, the rococo is already in full bloom in France and Germany).
A traditional legend holds that if visitors throw a coin into the fountain, they are ensured a return to Rome. Among those who are unaware that the "three coins" of Three Coins in the Fountain were thrown by three different individuals, a reported current interpretation is that two coins will ensure a marriage will occur soon, while three coins leads to a divorce. A reported current version of this legend is that it is lucky to throw three coins with one's right hand over one's left shoulder into the Trevi Fountain.
Approximately 3,000 Euros are thrown into the fountain each day and are collected at night. The money has been used to subsidize a supermarket for Rome's needy. However, there are regular attempts to steal coins from the fountain, including some using a magnetized pole.
Critiques | Translate
jplebrun (21208) 2007-07-25 3:37
Bonjour Giorgio, faire le tour des fontaines à Rome sans nous montrer la plus connue de tous serait impossible à concevoir, belle composition bien présenté, pas toujours facile de trouver la bonne méthode pour ce genre de cliché. ;)
manada (6239) 2007-07-25 4:26
Ciao Giorgio molto bello questo particolare della fontana.
Ancora più bello grazie all'inclinazione del sole che ci regala un'immagine crepuscolare, con queste ombre fantastiche.
Bravissimo a coglierne la delicatezza!
Ben fatto anche, dove la statua diventa più scura, aver inserito la bancarella così ben illuminata, collocandola in una posizione perfetta nella compo.
ribeiroantonio (22631) 2007-07-25 5:22
You got an excellent light here which helped casting a superb statue shadow giving a different perspective of the hand. I also like the miniatures in the foreground. I am finding all very interesting. Well done.
PS. The only thing not very good is the note. I could not finished it.
lestans (16896) 2007-07-25 6:36
Ciao Giorgio!! Che bel gioco di luci e di ombre! Specialmente apprezzabile l'ombra del braccio, ed anche la ricchezza di dettagli sia nelle parrti in sole che in quelle in ombra.
E poi c'è lo scherzo del banchetto dei souvenir! Ha ha!! giusto ricordare che i posti belli convivono con la paccottiglia.
Royaldevon (21523) 2007-07-25 10:57
Did you photograph this late in the evening, Giorgio? You have excellent light which is highlighting the relief on the statue and also making a wonderful shadow. Good pov to see the best of this interesting statue.
Docarmo (9639) 2007-07-25 19:21
Hai fatto un lavoro d'arte che impressiona. Il gioco di luce ed ombra, le miniature in primo piano - un'idea molto originale.
Grazie per la nota eccellente.
Maria do Carmo
shevchenko (18725) 2007-07-25 21:39
Interesting composition of an old fountain, beautiful baroque statues, strong and detail structure, this make me remember Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni. The horse statues still look clear at the shade, attractive the foreground souveniors, interesting long history about the aqueduct and fountain, thanks for sharing.
Silvio1953 (105653) 2007-07-25 22:55
Qui siamo sul classico giorgio, mi piace però come hai arricchito la foto con i souvenir in primo piano, ciao Silvio
edal (6804) 2007-07-26 0:10
I like the way you've included the souvenir statues with the ancient landmark of Rome.
hatti52 (12784) 2007-07-26 1:39
Very nice composition
Great light-shadow game
meltemi (9782) 2007-07-26 2:02
bel gioco di luci e ombre sul soggetto principale, ottimi i particolari. L'inquadratura con i souvenir in primo piano è molto originale. Bravo.
evanrizo (456) 2007-07-26 2:50
Ciao Giorgio, the shadow/light play is fantastic.
Very good framed with very nice details.
The few colored details give an interesting effect.
vinicio (23415) 2007-07-26 5:04
Bella foto con piani diversi Giorgio, l'ottima inserzione dei souvenirs in primo piano con la statua separata dall'ombra ha creato una foto molto bella e interessante, complimenti, anche alla kilometrica nota.
archimatica (20136) 2007-07-26 14:33
L'uso del contrasto ombra/luci crea dei piani di lettura molto belli che danno profondità alla fontana ed evidenziano le parti.
Uso magistrale della luce, bravo.
adores (30855) 2007-07-30 17:23
Very nice shot of this fountain. I like the composition and the sunlight reflecting on the main statue an don those hands in the foreground, I guess it results well.
Bluejeans (64243) 2007-08-04 4:45
Ola Giorgio e fantastica esta fonte , um trabalho de arte muito bonito , bom enquadramento da foto , gostei das sombras , parabens!!!
Um abraço Gonçalo
Bom fim de semana
Angelillo (9370) 2007-08-11 13:55
è veramente interessante questa foto. Prima ti tutto, catturare la Fontana di Trevi senza la moltitudine è un compito impossibile, ma c'e l'hai fatta! Il primo piano con tutte quelle statuette di Roma è anche singolare, e molto bello. Ma sopratutto mi piace molto la luce dalla sinistra e le ombre che crea, facendo un'immagine molto dinamica! Molto bella veramente! Auguri.
jmdias (48391) 2007-09-09 10:01
I liked this pov and this light that shows the statue very well.
- Copyright: Giorgio Clementi (Clementi) (52514)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2007-07-25
- Categories: Architecture, Artwork
- Camera: FujiFilm FinePix S9600
- Exposure: f/6.4, 1/250 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): Rome fountains [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2007-07-25 3:09
- Favorites: 1 [view]