A Square Platform: Piazza Capitelli
The fountain in the Piazzetta Campitelli is a unique from all the other fountains in Rome, bring people to the quiet little piazza, just off the Via del Mare.
The base is a square platform with inward curving corners that matches the raised pool crafted from Travertine. In the center sits a charming chalice-shaped marble baluster that supports a basin from witch water sprays. There are no fewer than six coats of arms spaced around the outside of the Travertine pool, as well as two large masks. All eight features have faced the effects of time, and are hard to make out. This fountain’s wear and tear has not been caused from human misuse, but from the outlet of the pool being too small. Water constantly runs down the sides and over the ornaments as a result. The artist seems to envision this problem though, because he cut a channel into the base around the pool.
Most likely, the name of the creator that springs to mind is Jacopo della Porta. This cannot be clearly proved though, because no name is specifically mentioned. Also the city only provided half of the money for the fountain, and the rest was through donations by public citizens, so no documentation is available.
Some information can be gathered from a document from April of 1589 stating, "For the greater ornamentation and beauty of the city, given that the fountain in the district near [the office of] the Chamberlain by the Monastery of Torre de' Specchi had to be made with two ounces of water in accordance with decrees already made, it is hereby decreed ordered and established that the same fountain, with a quantity of three ounces of water, that is with the two aforementioned and increased by another added by virtue of the present decree, be made in the center of the square in front of the houses of the most noble gentlemen Mario Gapisucchi, Jacomo Albertoni and Giovan Batta Riccia, and that the People [the City Authorities] for their part make the conduit as far as the place where the said fountain will be made and moreover disburse and pay to the said noble Mario Jacomo and Giovanbatta 100 scudi in coin, upon which the said Mario Jacomo and Giovanbatta shall be obliged to cover all other costs and make a beautiful pool and fountain, well decorated, all at their own expense, to the value of at least 300 scudi including the said 100 scudi to be given to them on behalf of the City and not less than the said sum, and to which they must commit themselves upon oath, to the effect that the noble gentlemen Mario Jacomo and Giovanbatta here present undertake to make the said fountain and to spend at least 300 scudi thereon ..."
Basically this document proves a fountain was planned to be built in a nearby square instead. This square was the home of three powerful nobles, who sponsored and paid for the building of the fountain, ensuring the fountain to be in front of their homes. Unfortunately since the crests of the families are indecipherable on the fountain it is hard to know for sure. The share of the city can be attributed to the 100 scudi mentioned in a document from June 26, 1589 stating, "To Pompilio de Benedetti stonemason sc. 100, being the share promised by the Roman People, for making the ornamentation of the public fountain in Piazza S. Maria di Campitello. This being the order of Master Jacomo della Porta."
Learn more about The design of the Piazza Capitelli