Givovanni Leminard’s Contribution to the Piazza del Popolo
The documents do not specifically mention della Porta’s name regarding the fountains. However there can be no questions as the fountain "which is at present and will remain in the possession of the Most Illustrious Cardinal Montepulciano", recorded in a contract dated 8 April 1572 provided detailed orders concerning "the fountain that is to go in Piazza del Popolo" to an unheard of French sculptor: Giovanni Leminard. Leminard was sent saline marble from which to create the fountain from. This marble was actually taken from marble found near “Nero’s façade”, which was also near the location where the fountain would be erected. The marble was to be used for the basin, "the fountain is to be made according to the model, to be well worked, pumiced inside and out, and polished, without emblems, grotesques and Harpies". Leminard promised to "supply the finished basin as specified above within the next eight months". He had requested 750 scudi, but actually received 600 from the authorities. The actual job was completed a month in advanced, which is very unlikely for any Roman work job. Another contract was created between the chamber and Leminard and engraver Malchiorre di Pietro da Settgnano. The architects promised to finish the fountain for the Piazza del Popolo which consisted of “the pedestal with the water basin above, of marble with engravings and ornamentation as per the model made for this purpose and which they have seen”. The idea was that the entire work was to be polished and finely crafted with perfect attention to detail.
Ahead of Schedule:
After the two craftsman received 350 of the 400 scudi they requested, they promised to complete the fountain in four months. The fountain was finished in the beginning of 1573, and did not make the impression it was thought to. It was a small fountain for the square, and rather modest when it comes to decorating the entrance of Rome. This is probably what led to contracts being drawn up exactly two years later for sculptors Simone Moschino and Taddeo Landini (both from Florence), Egidio della Riviera de Malines (a Fleming) and Giacobbe Siila Longhi (from Milan) to create the Four Tritons for the Popolo fountain. The contract stated that the Tritons and Shells [i.e. the shells the tritons sit on], and all the work, must create such an opinion and effect as demonstrated by the clay model of the fountain made by Master Iacomo [sic] della Porta". Once these features were added, it is sure that they made the small fountain in the square seem even smaller and more forelorn.