By Anne Leader

Architect and engineer Domenico Fontana died 28 June 1607 in Naples. Fontana achieved fame during his lifetime after successfully organizing and overseeing the removal and re-erection of the ancient Egyptian obelisk in Piazza San Pietro.

This feat was a key component of Fontana’s plans to help Pope Sixtus V rebuild Rome. Fontana was appointed papal architect in 1585, the same year he acquired Roman citizenship and joined the Accademia di San Luca. Over the next six years Fontana undertook numerous urban projects for the pope. He was then invited by the Spanish viceroy to Naples, where he finished out his career as Ingegnere Maggiore del Regno di Napoli (Major Engineer to the King of Naples.)

Reference: Matthias Quast. “Fontana (iv).” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press.

Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae: Moving the Vatican Obelisk according to  Domenico Fontana’s design

Fountain in the pedestal of the obelisk in front of S. Giovanni in Laterano

Fountain of Acqua Felice – “Moses Fountain,” 1586 (Completed by brother Giovanni Fontana)

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