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All Fontana did was supply the artist with junk from the Settizonio, a strange old building that had been demolished by Sixtus V. The idea for the creation of these fountains seems to come for Muzio, who changed the setting of the Fountain of the Tortoises to be right in front of his own home. Diarist, Flamino Vacca also wrote that “I remember, in the road that starts from Monte Cavallo and goes to Porta Pia, where at the time of Sixtus V four fountains were made, that one of them belongs to Mutio Matthei”. There is also a collection of documents, grants made by the pope, that establish the date.

The first grant, from June of 1588, grants “Muzio Mattei the return on two fountains in Via Felice and Porta Pia. Gift for having himself made the said two fountains. The first is the fountain  at the corner of Palazzo del Drago, the house of muzio at the time. The other fountain was placed further away. A second manuscript from August of 1588 granted Muzio “four ounces for his garden in Via Felice. Paid 300 scudi and 300 scudi given as a gift in compensation for the expenses incurred for the two Fountains in Strada Felice”.

This totals three fountains at the crossroads built by Mattei. A final manuscript from June 1593, now under Pope Clement VIII, gave one and a half ounces of water to Giacomo Gridenzoni “for having made at his expense one of the Four  Fountains”. Above each of the four fountains, are four reclining figures crafted from Travertine. One features a she-wolf suckling the founders of Rome, meant to be the River Tiber. Another one has women with a dog which represented Faithfulness. The third was a woman leaning on a lion with a goose at her feet, representing Fortitude. The last was the Nile River. We may never know the creator of these fountains, but they remain very simple.

These four fountains create a soothing and peaceful presence in the hectic and stressful bustle of everyday lives. The statues have an aloof and sleepy presence, but keep a close eye on everyone that passes them by. This location creates a wonderful place, with a stunning view from all directions of these four fountains!