Villa d'Este: The Organ Fountain



The Organ Fountain was famous for the hydraulic-pneumatic technology that made this water-and-air-powered musical fountain possible in the 16th century. It was recently cleaned and restored so it again produces sound.

Villa on the edge of the town, famous for its fine gardens with their spectacular fountains and waterworks. In 1550 Ippolito II d'Este (i), Cardinal of Ferrara, was appointed governor of Tivoli. He decided to transform the governor’s residence located in a portion of an old run-down Benedictine monastery attached to S Maria Maggiore into a lavish villa with splendid gardens devised by Pirro Ligorio. By using ancient statues, some excavated from Hadrian’s Villa [which is nearby], and contemporary fountain sculpture, Ligorio devised an elaborate iconographical garden layout celebrating the Cardinal. The villa itself is, in architectural terms, somewhat plain. Ligorio did, however, execute a fine staircase loggia on the garden front.


Attribute NameValues
Alternate Title
  • Villa d’ Este at Tivoli

  • G. Massiot & cie

  • Decorative arts

  • Fountains

  • Statues

  • Country homes

  • Gardens

  • Sculpture, Italian

  • Architecture

Date Created
  • 1910-01-01

Date Digitized
  • 2007-01-01

Cultural Context
  • Renaissance

Place of Creation
  • +41.9625+12.796111

  • Tivoli

  • Tivoli, Lazio, Italy

Departments and Units
Member of
Temporal Coverage
  • before or circa 1910

Record Visibility and Access Public
Content License


Collections Featuring this Image
Architectural Lantern Slides of Italy


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