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Fontana, Domenico

Fontana, Domenico (1543–1607). Architect and engineer, born in the Ticino, Switzerland. He settled in Rome, where he worked for Cardinal Montalto, the future Pope Sixtus V (1585–90), for whom he designed the villa on the Quirinal (1576–88). In 1585–6 he made his name by re-erecting the huge Egyptian red-granite obelisk from the Circus Gai et Neronis (but originally in Alexandria), in the centre of the piazza in front of St Peter's basilica, and also re-erected the ancient obelisks at Santa Maria Maggiore (1587), San Giovanni in Laterano (1587–8), and Piazza del Pòpolo (1589). Thereafter he built the Lateran Palace (1585–9), the Vatican Library (1587–90), and supervised the erection of the dome of St Peter's under della Porta (1588–90). His other major contributions in Rome were the laying out of new streets, including the Via Felice (1585–9), and other town-planning improvements ordered by Sixtus V. In 1593 he moved to Naples, where he built the Palazzo Reale (1600–2).

Bibliography

Architectural Review, cxi/644 (April 1952), 217–26;
D. Fontana (1604);
Muñoz (1944);
Roullet (1972);
Wittkower (1982)

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Fontana, Domenico

Domenico Fontana (dōmĕ´nēkō fōntä´nä), 1543–1607, Italian architect. He went to Rome, where he built (c.1580) the Sistine Chapel in the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore for Cardinal Peretti. When his patron was made pope (Sixtus V), Fontana played a leading part in the great rebuilding of Rome. He designed the Lateran palace (1588) and portions of the Vatican, notably the library (1588). An engineer as well as an architect, he built, with his brother Giovanni, the great aqueduct and fountain known as the Acqua Felice (1587) and in 1586 erected the obelisk in front of St. Peter's, a feat that won him wide renown. With Giacomo della Porta, he completed the dome of St. Peter's. On the death of Sixtus V, Fontana's Roman career collapsed; he withdrew to Naples, where he built the imposing royal palace (1600) and where he died before the execution of his magnificent designs for the improvement of the harbor.

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"Fontana, Domenico." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Fontana, Domenico." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 25, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/fontana-domenico

"Fontana, Domenico." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved April 25, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/fontana-domenico