In the focal point of Piazza del Campo is set the amazing Fonte Gaia (Gaia Fountain).
The former fountain, also called “Gaia” (joyous) was constructed in 1343 by an unknown architect. It is said that the authorities commissioned it to celebrate the water supply in Siena.
In 1408, the eminent Sienese sculptor Jacopo della Quercia (byname of Jacopo di Pietro D’Agnolo, 1374 ca.-1438) was commissioned by the govern of Siena to replace the old simple fountain by a most important one richly ornamented with eleven sculptures, relieves representing plants and flowers, cornices, steps, pillars and coats of arms. The artist started to work in the fountain in 1408 and concluded it in 1415. The wonderful fountain is considered as an emblem of the city of Siena, as well as a masterpiece of the Italian sculpture of the 15th century.
In 1858, the fountain was replaced one more time by a beautiful replica by the well-known Sienese sculptor Tito Sarrocchi (1824-1900)
The original sculptures created by Jacopo della Quercia and, among them, the ones representing Rhea Silvia and Acca Laurenthia -respectively mother and wet-nurse of Romulus and Remus, the mythic founders of Rome and Siena- are currently preserved in the ancient “Ospedale di Santa Maria della Scala”, which has been changed into an important art gallery.
Those statues, originally placed at each end of the “Fonte Gaia”, were not reproduced by Tito Sarrocchi.
Other splendid fragments of della Quercia’s fountain are hosted in the Museo Civico.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON TORRE DEL MANGIA CLICK HERE
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON FONTE GAIA CLICK HERE
What to See
The Cathedrals : Duomo di Siena
Main Monuments : Piazza del Campo , Palazzo Piccolomini
Main Museums : Museo dell' Opera di Siena , Museo dei Fisiocritici
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