The Moro Fountain in Rome

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Moro Fountain

moro fountain in navona squareThe Moor Fountain, located in the southern area of Piazza Navona, takes its name from the group of sculptures of the tank representing an Ethiopian fighting with a dolphin.

The work, sculptured on a design of Bernini in 1654 after Christ by Giovanni Antonio Mari and which, in reality, should represent a triton, was expressly required by the sister-in-law of Innocent X, Olimpia Maidalchini, in order to give an ideal achievement to the tank realised by Giacomo della Porta, already placed on the square by the Pontiff Gregorio XIII in 1576.
The main part of the sculpture ensemble, of the tritons and the masks decorating the tank, are copies of originals nowadays places in some fountains of the garden of Villa Borghese.
While for the firsts (the tritons) we have to think about an original work realised at the end of the 16th century by artists such as Meschino, Taddeo Landini, Silla Longhi, Egidio della Rivera, which misappropriation made necessary an integration work given in 1874 to Luigi Amici, for the group of masks it is good to remember how, in reality, Giacomo della Porta initially sculptured them for the Fountain in "Piazza del Popolo" and only in 1823 Valadier moved them in the Fountain of the Moro.
The swimming-pool, which repeats surrounding it the form of the tank, at the end, represents a particular detail of small architectonic importance but sufficiently significant in the anecdotes of the art story: in fact, it seems that the project can be attributed to Bernini, who however would have taken his idea from his most very fierce colleague and rival: Borromini.
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