The fountain in Campo Vaccino
A stunning nineteenth-century reproduction of the famous “mascherone” by Bartolomeo Bassi (1593) based on design of Giacomo della Porta (1532–1602). The original mascheone was initially placed on the fountain in Campo Vaccino, above a granite basin, where it served as a drinking trough for the herds that grazed there.
Our mascherone was made around the first quarter of the nineteenth century. The quality of the handwork is remarkable in its details; the mask is in excellent condition, has no apparent defects. They’re still the original iron hooks that supported the mask.
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Pope Pius VII Chiaramonti (1800-1823) gave the order to transfer the granite basin to Montecavallo, as a fountain under the statues of the Dioscuri. While the mascherone was moved to Porto Leonino, where it was placed on the fountain of the Lancisiana Water, remaining there until 1897, when the structure was dismantled for the opening of the Tiber to be kept in the municipal warehouses.
In 1936 it was decided to give new lustre to the old mascherone and to place it on the Aventine; the mask and the basin were united in a single structure which was placed in a niche along thewalls of the Orange Garden in Piazza Pietro d’Illyria, in the Ripa district that rises on the Aventine hill where it can still be admired today.