A Fountain in a Grotto

Giovanni Guerra Italian

Not on view

During the 16th century, Italian nobles developed a taste for artificial grottoes in their gardens and sometimes even in their houses. Artists, such as Giambologna and Bernardo Buontalenti became very skilled in inventing landscapes of rocks and shells often inhabited by amphibians, invertebrates and other animals. The aquatic nature of most of these grottoes also lent itself well to the inclusion of fountains and statues of deities connected to water. In this design by Giovanni Guerra, a river god is seated on the rocks. He supports two amphorae from which water falls into the basin below.

A Fountain in a Grotto, Giovanni Guerra (Italian, Modena 1544–1618 Rome), Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, over traces of black and red chalk

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