PORTA, Giacomo della
(b. ca. 1533, Genova, d. 1602, Roma)


Piazza Campitelli, 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.