Monument

Fontana di Orione

Piazza Duomo, Messina

Fountain of Orion is a monumental work by Fra' Giovanni Angelo Montorsoli (1507-1563), disciple of Michelangelo. It was built in 1553, carried out in collaboration with Domenico Vanello. Art historian Bernard Berenson called it "the most beautiful fountain of the Europe sixteenth century". Ordered by Messina Senate to celebrate the construction of the first city aqueduct, Fountain has a pyramidal structure of iconographic design by Francesco Maurolico: at the top, Orion with faithful dog Siriu at his foot; below, four cherubins riding dolphins from whose mouths water pours into the basin below. Follow four nymphs and many newts, in ponds larger and larger. In the basin twelve-sided, four statues representing the rivers Nile, Tiber, Ebro and Camaro. Finally, four small basins and eight aquatic monsters in black stone. Its complex iconography is not yet fully explained.

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