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Master Jacopo della Porta was the “Architect for the Fountains”, as well as “Architect of the Roman People” until 162, the year he actually died. These dates include basically the entire reign of Clement VIII. So let’s keep Jacopo in mind when we consider the sketch. When looking at the odd presence of pathways and pool present in the Trevi Fountain, as well as the three water cascades, falling from the mouth of the three masks, along with the benches at the sides goes to show the designer had experience with creating fountains and water displays that were worthy of  grand estates and villas. Della Porta was working on Pope Clements magnificent Villa Aldobrandini in Frascati, which included an amazing fountain.

Additionally, the occurrence of the same design for the logo of the city of Rome accompanied at the far ends, by two female wolves, goes to show that the Capitol had a hand in the scheme. Also the Capitol had a controlling interest, and della Porta was still the City Fountain architect. We are reminded of della Porta again from the two unicorns, mythological horses with a horn on their foreheads, each with a seated virgin who found the water, because Jacopo also used another mythological horse, Pegasus, during his creations at the Villa Aldobrandini. Return then to the strange façade that was decorated with a large collection of figures and statues that Jacopo had designed for the Marforio fountains on Capitoline Hill, and you see that it does resemble the three raised sections for this design of the Trevi Fountain. When looking at this, and recalling that della Porta’s style, late in his career, had become prone to decoration and detailing, it makes sense that the sketch in the Viennese collection, dated to roughly 1600, was the last of della Porta’s fountains. One of the final designs he intended to build, thus ending his career where it began…with the Trevi.