Fontana della Barcaccia


The Fontana della Barcaccia or Fountain of the Old Boat located in Piazza di Spagna in Rome, Italy, is one of the most famous and well loved public artworks in all of Rome. This piece was commissioned in 1627 by Pope Urban VIII and was created by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and his father Pietro Bernini, as a commemorative fountain to celebrate the Bernini’s restoration of the Acqua Vergine. This is one of the many remaining Roman aqueducts that still carry fresh drinking water across Rome, the restoration was to provide more water to the growing population center north of Rome.
This piece displays the Bernini’s technical expertise in making the best of the use of the slow, gentle flows of the Acqua Vergine, the water source for this fountain. The sculpture was designed with the low water pressure in mind, and was made wide and low to ground. The artwork includes several jets of water that shoot out of the piece through the top and sides. The central jet of water forms the mast of the boat, the jets shooting out the sides, and the water pooling down from the central basin under the main jet and spilling over the sides of the sculpture makes the image of a rapidly sinking boat. My opinion of this artwork is that it is a very beautiful artwork that showcases the talents of both Bernini’s, father and son and is charming sinking boat sculpture.

Adams Julie and Emma Scott. “The Wonders of Rome-Part Three-Acqua Vergine.” Our Italian Dream. Blogspot. 12 Dec. 2010. Web. 04 Nov. 2013.
Bernini, Gian Lorenzo and Pietro Bernini. Fontana della Barcaccia. 1627-29. Piazza di Spagna, Rome. GianLorenzo Bernini. Web. 04 Nov. 2013.
Longbottom, Kerry. “Sculpting Rome’s Waters: Barcaccia.” GianLorenzo Bernini. University of Mary Washington. 2013. Web. 04 Nov. 2013
“Piazza di Spagna.” Understanding Italy. Understanding Italy. n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2013.

2 thoughts on “Fontana della Barcaccia

  1. …may I? I was checking the references of your post, and notice the last one, where you renamed the last book (?) “PIZZA di Spagna”, while you probably meant “Piazza” (=square). Quite funny, tho! 😉

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