Route: THE ETERNAL CHALLENGE. BERNINI VERSUS BORROMINI
You are along the route: THE ZOO OF WONDERS. STONE ANIMALS
Bernini was commissioned by Pope Urban VIII to build this small fountain for public use in 1644. The artist had a very limited amount of water available to him, because the fountain collected the return flow of water from the nearby Fontana del Tritone, and the construction of a monumental works was out of the question. In a genial solution, Bernini made the jets of water emerge from the mouths of three bees, symbol of the Barberini household, that of the Pope. In truth, the coat of arms of the Barberini household originally depicted three horseflies, which Matteo Barberini had changed into bees to give the symbol a more noble significance in line with its new status when he was elected Pope, as Urban VIII. In the dedication inscription, the water is compared to the honey made by the bees, alluding to its sweetness and purity.
Picture by permission from Roma Capitale-Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali
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