Sarcophagus-Fountains Piazza del Popolo Rome
History and description
The two fountains made of ancient sarcophagi on the north side of the Piazza del Popolo were placed there between 1814 and 1828, when Giuseppe Valadier gave a new look to much of the neighborhood, but especially the square itself.
The same architect was also responsible for the Fountain of the Lions in the center of the square, as well as for the Fountain of Neptune and the Fountain of the Goddess Roma on either side.
To place the two sarcophagi there, Valadier had to remove a drinking place for animals and a washing place. These looked too rural for the neighborhood’s, over the course of the centuries, considerably upgraded prestige.
One of the two sarcophagi is placed against the Santa Maria del Popolo Church, while the other one stands against the Giacomo Acqua Barracks, also designed by the architect, opposite this church.
Valadier had also designed the sacristy and the side of the convent adjacent to the church.
The sarcophagus standing against the church depicts a couple within a so-called clipeus (a circle named after a Greek shield, within which a relief was depicted). The sarcophagus itself dates from the 3rd century AD.
The second sarcophagus was made toward the end of the same century. The clipeus depicts a man in a toga.