The Fountain of Neptune, Florence, Italy
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The Fountain of Neptune is situated on the Piazza della Signoria (Signoria square), in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. The fountain was commissioned in 1565 and is the work of the sculptor Bartolomeo Ammannati.
This work by Bartolomeo Ammannati (1563–1565) and some assistants, such as Giambologna, was commissioned on the occasion of the wedding of Francesco I de’ Medici with Johanna of Austria in 1565. The assignment had first been given to Baccio Bandinelli, who designed the model but he died before he could start working on the block of Apuan marble.
The Neptune figure, whose face resembles that of Cosimo I de’ Medici, was meant to be an allusion to the dominion of the Florentines over the sea. The figure stands on a high pedestal in the middle of an octagonal fountain. The pedestal in the middle is decorated with the mythical chained figures of Scylla and Charybdis. The statue of Neptune is a copy made in the nineteenth century, while the original is in the National Museum.
However, when the work was finished, it was not appreciated in particular by the Florentines, who called it Il Biancone (the white giant).
Work continued on this fountain during the next ten years. Ammannati, with the assistance of the best Florentine sculptors and casters, added around the perimeter of the basin, in a mannerist style, suave, reclining, bronze river gods, laughing satyrs and marble sea-horses emerging from the water. The monumental marble and the dynamic bronzes give nevertheless a coherent impression. The fountain served as an example for future fountain-makers. (wikipedia)