Tour in Rome: Scandal, Nudity and the Fountain of Shame

A century passed since the inauguration, in 1901 of the Fountain of the Naiads. And that was a completely different Rome. The city had just a few years out from the austerity of the pope’s rule; such statues did not go unnoticed!

It was a shock: four young female figures completely naked in a public monument!

And then the poses, so provocative. This fountain is so spicy as to have caused almost an urban riot in its time.

The bronze naiads or water nymphs, are the work of a Sicilian sculptor, Mario Rutelli, whose romantic adventures with his models were the talk of the town.

The fountain shocked so much the city authorities that they repeatedly postponed the unveiling until someone knocked down the fence around the fountain, triggering a hasty inauguration.

This fountain had become a place of pilgrimage for young and older men. People crowded the square to gaze in wonder at those female forms. To prevent them from getting too close, a gate was installed. The church’s pressure to remove the sinful sculptures was enormous, but eventually, it was the gate itself that was removed.

With time, Rutelli’s naughty nymphs have come to be judged as one of the very few modern improvements to Rome’s landscape.

Unfortunately, air pollution and water corrosion damage the bronze, which is not, apparently, of the highest quality. So despite repeated restorations, sometimes the shapes of the group are hard to discern.

What are you waiting? Come to Rome to discover more scandalous art!

Open chat
Need help?
Send me a Whatsapp
Ciao I'm here to help! So don't hesitate to reach out to me right now.