|1. Pope Pius V|
|2. Muzio Mattei|
|3. Giacomo Della Porta|
|4. Taddeo Landini|
Pope Pius V (1504-1574, Bosco Marengo) is known as a reforming pope who was very strict in putting the decrees of the Council of Trent into effect. Additionally, he continued with the project that his predecessor, Pius IV had set up: the restoration of the Acqua Vergine. This was an enormous project, which would bring forth not only urban growth and urban health, but also stressed on the supremacy of Rome and the Church. This supremacy had been questioned many times during the Counter-Reformation. Pius V repaired the Aqua Vergine, an aqueduct that was brought to Rome by Agrippa and arranged the building of several fountains in order to supply the water to the people of Rome. Most of the water was led to the well-known Trevi Fountain, however several other fountains were used to spread the water, among which was the Fontana della Tartarughe.
Muzio Mattei (birthdate unknown - 1596) was the person who arranged the fountain to be placed at the Piazza Matteï, where the palace belonging to his family was situated. The building that lines the northern edge of the piazza Mattei is the oldest of the Mattei palaces to be built on the site, but attached to it are three others owned by them. Together they form a unity which is known as the isola (island) Mattei.
The Mattei family were a very influential family in Rome, as they formed part of the vital supply network that kept the city fed with grain. Additionally, they were granted the concession to run the gates of the walled Jewish ghetto, created by Paul IV Carafa (1555 - 1559) and to charge a fee to anyone entering or leaving the area. So the Mattei family was permitted to ask money from every Jew that entered or left the ghetto.
The fountain was planned to be placed on the Piazza Giudea, a market site in Sant´Angelo. Muzio Matteï was opposed to this plan and asked for the fountain to be placed at the Piazza Mattei. In return he would manage the pavement of the square.
Giacomo della Porta was an Italian architect. During his life (1533 - 1602), he created multiple art pieces for the Catholic church. Interesting about Della Porta is that he did not support all of the ideas the church had about influencing the civilians with art. Della Porta was part of a group that consisted of artists and architectures. This group tried to stand up against the power the Catholic church had on art during the late Renaissance and early Baroque. This group came together very often to discuss what they could do to decrease the influence the church had on art. The ideas of this group obviously were not supported by the church and therefore the group was not officially recognized. Moreover, Della Porta was a student of Michelangelo before he got recognition for his own art.
The art Della Porta made is part of the mannerism movement; the art he produced in the late Renaissance has a lot of baroque features. Typical for Baroque art is the use of rich materials and complicated patterns. Also divine materials and a lot of decorations are used in this style.
Taddeo Landini was born in Florence in 1561 and he received a Tuscan training in sculpting and architecture as a pupil of Giovanni Bologna. He moved to Rome in 1580 where he executed many sculptures and other works, of which most are unfortunately destroyed now. During the pontificates of Gregory XIII, Sixtus V and Clement VIII, Landini worked on various projects as the papal architect. The four lively boys in the fountain of the Tortoises are his most famous art pieces, which style reminds more of the earlier Florentine fountain style instead of Baroque. Even though the fountain was made in collaboration with Giacomo della Porta, the design of the four boys is solely Landini´s handwriting. Other famous works of Landini are the statue of Winter at the bridge of Santa Trinità in Florence, the sculpture of Gregory XIII´s bust, and half- length figure of Triton ( Fontana del Moro, Piazza Navona, Rome). Landini died in March 1596 in Rome.
|Winter, Taddeo Landini Image source.||Fontana del Moro, Piazza NavonaImage source.|
- Roberts L., Shaffer S., Dear P., The Mindful Hand: inquiry and invention from the Late Renaissance to early Industrialization. Amsterdam: 2007, pp. 95
- Northall, J (1766). Travels through Italy. London: Hooper, S. P. 307
- Majanlathi, A. (2005) The families who made Rome: a history and a guide. London, Gatto & Windus. P21