PISANO, Nicola
(active 1258-78)

Fonte Maggiore

1278
Bronze and marble
Piazza 4 Novembre, Perugia

This is the last known monument on which Nicola Pisano worked. It was a collaboration among father, son Giovanni and engineers for the hydraulics. Commissioned by the city fathers, the fountain carries political and allegorical allusions to one of the basic rights of every Roman citizen, access to free water. The fountain is oriented on the points of the compass and serves as a hub of the city.

The fountain is executed in a combination of bronze and marble. It is polygonal, architectural elements dominate the sculpture. It is constructed on three levels. The first level consists of a basin with 25 sides, each face with 2 upright reliefs. External and internal columns support the smaller basin of 12 sides whose bronze protomes serve as water sprout. The angles of this basin are decorated with 24 figures. The third level consist of a simple bronze basin. Crowning the fountain are 3 bronze caryatids who carry vases on their heads.