The mannerist Santa Lucia Fountain in the Villa Comunale in Naples was constructed in 1606. It was originally built for the waterfront of the Borgo Santa Lucia, as the neighborhood just off the Castel dell’Ovo used to be called. The history of the fountain is described on plaques on its sides.
Santa Lucia Fountain Naples
History and description
The fountain was designed by Alessandro Ciminiello and built by Michelangelo Naccherino and Tommaso Montani.
The fountain was further embellished in 1620, and in 1845 Ferdinand II had it restored by the architect Carlo Bonucci. A plaque on the fountain claims explains the restoration was part of more extensive works on the Via Santa Lucia.
In 1898, the fountain was placed inside the Villa Comunale.
The main part of the fountain is a large arch, topped by a tympanum containing the coat of arms of Giovanni Alfonso Pimentel d’Errera, the viceroy who had originally commissioned the monument. Three dolphins inside the arch are supporting a circular bowl.
The dolphins are relatively recent. They were added in 1845, when they replaced mermaids who spouted water from their mouths and breasts.
Flanking the fountain are two caryatids on dolphins.
The basins at the base are shell-shaped.