In the Likeness of Ammannanti’s Neptune: The Fountain of the Tortoises
Changing from his typical style, and determining to introduce Rome to a new style, likened to that of the Florentine Style, where the art is more important that the architecture. The model for the fountain was based off the Neptune statue created by Ammannati in 1563-75, located in Florence. The Neptune fountain features Neptune riding in a chariot, but the best features of this fountain are the bronzed figures around the base. These figures include groups of fauns and satyrs, which is where della Porta drew his inspiration. It was the life-like positions of the satyrs and fauns, with legs raised alternately, creating a resemblance to the arms and legs of the ephebes on the Roman fountain.
The Neptune fountain and other 16th century fountain of Florence lack general architectural properties. Della Porta’s Fountain of the Tortoises is focused on the artistic nature, but he never forgets that he is building a fountain, which requires important architectural needs. The foremost being the water itself. Therefore the difference from the Florentine fountains is that della Porta creates a plausible architectural setting for his four youths, creating a successful blending or art and architecture. He has successfully created a new form, one where container and content combine to form a complimentary whole piece, with the water as the reason for the sculpture!