Following the procedure of previous posts about Piazza del Campo (Campo Square), we can not forget Fonte Gaia (Gaia Fountain).
In 1343 the Government of “Nine Delegated” decided to bring water to the Campo Square.
The first fountain was inaugurated in the general joy of the citizens ( hence seems to derive the name Gaia = joyful).
Placed in the upper part of the square, the fountain was fed by a subterranean water system still known today as the “bottini of Siena”.
In the early years of the Fifteenth century, more precisely from 1409 to1419, the fountain was replaced by that of Jacopo della Quercia. His work remains one of the most important masterpiece in the sculpture of the Fifteenth century in a period of transition from Gothic to Renaissance.
Jacopo della Quercia placed in the middle of the fountain the marble statues representing Virgin Mary and Jeus with two angels which are followed by Theological Virtues, Cardinal Virtues and Justice; later he added other sculpters depicting the Creation of Adam and the Fall from Paradise;
in the end the two statues representing Acca Larentia and Rea Silvia (Romolo and Remo’s mother and nurce).The marble statues made by Jacopo della Quercia remained in the Campo Square until
the mid-nineteenth century when, outworn by then, they were replaced by copies (the ones we see today) made by Tito Sarrocchi.
The originals are now in a room of The Museum “Santa Maria della Scala” in front of the Cathedral of Siena.
From the book: “Tutta Siena contrada per contrada” by Piero Torriti
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