Monday, December 30, 2013

Fountain of Juno

Fountain of Juno by Bartolomeo Ammannati, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence
Fountain of Juno by Bartolomeo Ammannati
Museo Nazionale del Bargello
Florence, October 2013

“A year after Giorgio Vasari had entered the services of Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici, Bartolomeo Ammannati returned to Florence. He was ordered to carve a fountain for the great hall of the Palazzo Vecchio where the audiences took plane. The fountain was planned for the west wall of the Udienza, across from Bandinelli’s set of statues in niches flanked by columns, and it was to be a pendant consisting of marble and bronze statues as well as columns. The initial plans of a wall fountain for the palace were transformed by Ammannati. Michelangelo’s advice was sought and, finally in his letter of 25th April 1560 to Duke Cosimo, he gave his approva] to Ammannati's ideas underlining the beautiful fantasy of the setting. Ammannati carved a multi-wiewed fountain which included six allegorical, life size figures, two peacocks, and a marble rainbow. The oval-shaped fountain showed Juno suited upon the rainbow and flanked by the peacocks, her attribute, Ceres standing in the centre with the rainbow resting on her head, with Florence and Temperance at her sides analogously standing, and the latter statues were accompanied by reclining figures, the river Arno and the fountain Paruassus. This fountain visualized ‘il generare dell'acqua’ as Raffaello Borghini put it.”
(A note on the chronology of Ammarmati’s Fountain of Juno, Hildegard Utz)

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