[Trevi Fountain - Rome] (1850 - 1859) by Tommaso CuccioniThe J. Paul Getty Museum
The Trevi Fountain is a - if not the - baroque masterpiece. Found in the very centre of Rome, Italy, its gaudy extravagance has wowed tourists since 1762.
The fountain marks the end of the Acqua Vergine, the aqueduct that replaced the ancient Roman Aqua Virgo.
Proposal for the Trevi Fountain (1730/1732) by Luigi VanvitelliNational Gallery of Art, Washington DC
It took over a century for the fountain to go from paper to stone. In 1629, Pope Urban VIII set out to build a new city fountain, but it was in 1730 under Pope Clement XII that construction began.
Fountain di Trevi, Rome (1856–1859) by Jane Martha St. JohnThe J. Paul Getty Museum
Thirty years and two popes later, it was finally finished.
It's baking here. Roman summers are notoriously hot. Let's get out of the sun and find the fountain. Stay on this slide and point & click to explore the streets.
There it is, you can't miss it! Let's take a closer look...
Four different sculptors were hired to complete the fountain's decorations: Pietro Bracci, Filippo della Valle, Giovanni Grossi, and Andrea Bergondi. Their designs combine practicality and symbolic power into one powerful artwork.
Side View of the Trevi Fountain, formerly the Acqua Vergine from Vedute di Roma (Views of Rome) (1747/1748) by Giovanni-Battista PiranesiZimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University
The sculptures describe the 'taming of the waters'. Mythological Tritons guide the seashell chariot of Oceanus, father of the river gods, which is pulled by half-fish, half-horse hippocampi. The raging waters of nature tumble into the calm pool of civilisation.