Fonte dell'Abbondanza

Historical monuments | Massa Marittima
Built in 1265 inside the city walls by the Pisan Mayor Ildebrandino, this building represented the main water resource for Massa Marittima during the Middle Ages. Recent restoration work has recovered an original fresco depicting the Tree of Fertility bearing witness to the importance of the spring for the city’s water supply.

The Fresco is dated 1265-1335 and since the moment of its discovery it has aroused both wonder and scandal. The fresco shows a large tree with leaves with 25 hanging phalluses. Below the tree, two women appear to be arguing over one of them, while threatening blackbirds fly above them, and other figures of uncertain interpretation. Many critics believe that this fresco must have had an “apotropaic” function, that of auspicious omen for the harvests. 
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