The Inspiration for the Santa Maria in Cosmedin
It is quite obvious that the inspiration for this fountain came from Bernini. This is clear in the rocks and the two tritons. Bizzaccheri’s genius and his personal conception of the fountain, is clear in his attempts to create a bond between the groups of sculpture and the basin, to create a while work that is in harmony with the water. This was achieved sue to his simple, at novel, 8-pointed basin set inside a circle. The group, as it emerges from the center of the basin, appears almost like a flower blooming. It creates a single artistic entity.
Possibly one of the most beautiful and successful fountains in Rome, it did, nonetheless, arouse quite a bit of controversy. This controversy was concerning Clement XI. The reason, as quoted from Crescimbeni, “to many people, the new construction seemed excessive, or at least too elegant" and "there are some who say that this fountain is too magnificent for the square where it stands and for the poor people who will benefit from it.” People thought s simple drinking trough for animals would have been suitable.
The Chapter of the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedian, on the other hand, was thrilled with both the restoration of the church, and the lovely little fountain. The chapter marked their gratitude with a plaque.
Judging by the following statement, this fountain brought joy to the poorest of the poor, "Nor was the general feeling of the whole parish any less [pleased], but the inhabitants were so poor that they had few means of showing it; nevertheless, they also joined in the applause and cries of acclamation that, on the fountain being supplied with water, rang out loudly all day. And on that day, His Holiness, Pope Clement XI, deigned to add considerably to the joy, by arranging for gifts of food and money to be handed out to all who had worked on building the fountain, who amounted in number to over sixty, all of whom were gathered together in the square for the occasion."