LANDINI, Taddeo
(b. ca. 1550, Firenze, d. 1596, Roma)

Fontana delle Tartarughe

1585
Marble and bronze
Piazza Mattei, Rome

Roman Baroque fountains stand out as a novel reworking of a venerable civic tradition, especially when compared with fountains produced elsewhere in Italy. The major factor contributing to the new prominence of fountain design in Rome was a practical one: the restoration of the city's extensive network of ancient aqueducts. From the reign of Pope Nicholas V (1447-1455) onwards, most pontiffs paid attention to the city's water supply, both out of necessity and in emulation of their imperial predecessors. Some twenty fountains were erected between the reigns of Gregory XIII (1572-1585) and Clement VIII (1592-1602) Most of these - such as the many created in Rome by Giacomo della Porta - remained essentially geometric in design.

The Fonte delle Tartarughe, Landini's most famous work, was named after the tortoises (added in 1658) that clamber from the bronze youths' hands into the upper basin of the fountain. Although the overall design was made in collaboration with Giacomo della Porta (1533-1602), Landini was solely responsible for the spirited boys, whose lively poses and arrangement around the basin recall Florentine fountain designs of the previous generation.