Today’s images are from the Piazza Navona in Rome, thanks to the well behaved pigeons.As I mused about in the previous post, Rome is a city where the layers of history come alive. It is a city where you can experience 2000 plus years of history simultaneously, but Rome is also very much a Baroque city, and the Piazza Navona is a fine example of this.
The focal point of the Piazza Navona is Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers (Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi) which celebrates the four great rivers of the known world in its time, the Nile, Danube, Ganges and Plate. I am really drawn to this sculpture. I just love the drama and theatricality of the figures, which of course is typical of the Baroque. I also like the way the figures in the fountain seem to be addressing the adjacent cathedral façade. Legend has it that the figures, designed by Bernini, are shielding their eyes in horror from the cathedral façade, designed by Borromini, Bernini’s arch-rival. The reality is that the fountain was completed before the Façade, so who knows? Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
I addition to the very Baroque sculptures, the Piazza Navona is a fantastic urban space, albeit too touristy for its own good.
|Bernini's Four Rivers Fountain|
|Shielding its eyes from the horror of the Borromini Facade.|