Domenico Fontana (* 1543 in Melide ; † 28. June 1607 in Naples ) in was Italy active architect , painter and sculptor of Mannerism in the late Renaissance from what is now Canton Ticino ( Switzerland ).
Fontana came to Rome in 1563 to study architecture. In 1576 he built the Villa Sforzesca for Cardinal Alessandro Sforza in Castell'Azzara . He gained the trust of Cardinal Montalto, who later became Pope Sixtus V , who commissioned him to build the Cappella del Presepio in Santa Maria Maggiore in 1584 . Sixtus V. appointed him Architettore principale . He also built the Palazzo Montalto for Montalto and, after Montalto's election, became Pope Architect of St. Peter's Basilica . In this role he placed the lantern on the dome of St. Peter's Basilica. Some changes to the Lateran also date from this time . He built the vestibule of the north transept, which is modeled on the stage structure of the ancient theater.
One of Fontana's best-known achievements in 1586 was the laying down and then later the erection of the obelisk on St. Peter's Square . Fontana emerged as the winner of a competition in which around 500 architects and engineers took part. The engineering approach of Fontana was remarkable, about which he reported in his book "Della trasportatione dell'obelisco Vaticano et delle fabriche di Nostro Signore Papa Sisto V" (Rome, 1590). As a result, he also erected the obelisks on the Piazza del Popolo , the Piazza di Santa Maria Maggiore and the Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano.
After the death of his patron Sixtus V, he worked in the service of his successor Clement VIII until 1592. After allegations of embezzlement of public funds and his dismissal, Fontana went to Naples . There he built the Palazzo Reale, among other things . In 1592 he discovered inscriptions during canal construction work, but nobody was interested in them. 150 years later it turned out that Fontana had discovered Pompeii .
After his death in 1607 Domenico Fontana was buried in the church of Sant'Anna dei Lombardi in Naples.
The most important works in Rome include:
- Villa Peretti (1570) stood on the site of today's Palazzo Massimo alle Terme
- Santa Maria Maggiore ; Sacrament chapel Sixtus V (1585)
- The completion of San Luigi dei Francesi (1589)
- The water pipe system Acqua Felice Sixtus V. with the two fountains:
- Moses Fountain at Largo di Santa Susanne (1587)
- The four fountains on the top of the Quirinal Hill (1587)
- Lateran Basilica ; Portico with benediction loggia (1587)
- Lateran Palace (1587)
- Restoration of the Trajan Column and the Marcus Aurelius Column (1588)
- Scala Santa at Lateran (1586–1588)
- Apostolic Palace (1589)
- Library in the Belvedere crossing of the Apostolic Palace (1587–1590).
- Domenico Fontana: Della / trasportatione / dell'obelisco vaticano / et delle fabriche / di nostro Signore / Papa Sisto V. / fatte / dal cavallier / Domenico Fontana / architetto di Sua Santita / Libro Primo / Roma MDXC. 
- Giovanni Baglione: Le vite de pittori, scultori et architetti. Dal pontificato di Gregorio XIII del 1572 in fino a'tempi di Papa Urbano ottavo nel 1642 . Rom 1642, pp. 84-86.
- Escher: Fontana, Domenico . In: Ulrich Thieme (Hrsg.): General Lexicon of Fine Artists from Antiquity to the Present . Founded by Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker . tape 12 : Fiori-Fyt . EA Seemann, Leipzig 1916, p. 174–176 ( Textarchiv - Internet Archive ).
- Heinz Horat: Domenico Fontana. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland . December 8, 2005 , accessed January 24, 2020 .
- Alessandro Ippoliti: Fontana, Domenico. In: Fiorella Bartoccini (ed.): Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani (DBI). Volume 48: Filoni-Forghieri. Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, Rome 1997.
- Literature by and about Domenico Fontana in the catalog of the German National Library
- Domenico Fontana on the website about Ticino artists in Europe, 13. – 19. century
- Domenico Fontana. In: arch INFORM . (Catalog raisonné)
- Felicia Rotundo, Bruno Santi: Castell'Azzara. In: Bruno Santi: Guida Storico-Artistica alla Maremma. Nuova Immagine Edizioni, Siena 1995, ISBN 88-7145-093-0 .
- Della trasportatione dell'Obelisco Vaticano et delle Fabriche di Nostro Signore Papa Sisto V
- Domenico Fontana (Italian) at ti.ch/can/oltreconfiniti
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||late renaissance roman architect|
|DATE OF BIRTH||1543|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Melide TI|
|DATE OF DEATH||June 28, 1607|
|Place of death||Naples|