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Part 2: Neptune and natural phenomena

"Neptune himself struck the earth with his trident; it trembled, and by its movement threw open channels for the waters. Across the wide plains the rivers raced ...." Metamorphoses I. (283 -284)

Stoldo Lorenzi’s bronze Neptune plunges his trident into the earth to create a flood in the Boboli Gardens in Florence. Below him crouches a Nereid with snaky-legs holding a shell above her head, ready for the influx of water. In Metamorphoses Neptune floods the earth to destroy mankind because civilization has been abused. Jets from Neptune’s trident initiate the flow of water down through the gardens. The fountain referred to an important event around 1550, when Duke Cosimo I, head of government in Florence, provided a new aqueduct for the city from a spring near the Boboli Gardens. Water was taken across the river Arno to the Piazza Signoria in the city centre. It seemed as if the water source for the city was from Cosimo’s garden and Neptune’s trident!

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