The Fontana del Pantheon, which was originally commissioned by Pope Gregory XIII (r.1572-85), is the centrepiece of the Piazza della Rotonda. It was designed by Giacomo della Porta and executed by Leonardo Sormani.
In 1711 Pope Clement XI (r. 1700-21) commissioned the young Roman sculptor and architect Filippo Barigoni (1690-1753) to radically modify the design of the fountain. An ancient Egyptian obelisk, dating back to the reign of Rameses II (r. 1279-1213 BCE), was set up on a plinth in the centre. The plinth was decorated with four water-spouting dolphins and the pope's coat of arms. Barigoni also created a new base for the fountain, which has a variable number of steps in response to the slope of the piazza.
In 1866 the Fontana del Pantheon was restored and the marble figures were removed and replaced by copies.
Blogging about Rome,
its art, history and culture.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private and
small-group walking tours
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