The Fonte Gaia ("Fountain of Joy") was built in 1419 as an endpoint of the system of conduits bringing water to the city's centre, replacing an earlier fountain completed about 1342 when the water conduits were completed. Under the direction of the Committee of Nine, many miles of tunnels were constructed to bring water in aqueducts to fountains and thence to drain to the surrounding fields. The present fountain, a center of attraction for the many tourists, is in the shape of a rectangular basin that is adorned on three sides with many bas-reliefs with the Madonna surrounded by the Classical and the Christian Virtues, emblematic of Good Government under the patronage of the Madonna. The white marble Fonte Gaia was originally designed and built by Jacopo della Quercia, whose bas-reliefs from the basin's sides are conserved in the Ospedale di St. Maria della Scala in Piazza Duomo. The former sculptures were replaced in 1866 by free copies by Tito Sarrocchi, who omitted Jacopo della Quercia's two nude statues of Rhea Silvia and Acca Larentia, which the nineteenth-century city fathers found too pagan or too nude. When they were set up in 1419, Jacopo della Quercia's nude figures were the first two female nudes, who were neither Eve nor a repentant saint, to stand in a public place since Antiquity.
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... He fled to Siena (and began working on the Fonte Gaia), but his assistant was incarcerated for three years ... because he was working at the same time on the Fonte Gaia and the Trenta Chapel ... of Adam, he uses the same arrangement as in the Fonte Gaia (in Siena), but in reverse order ...