This fountain was designed by Giacomo Della Porta and built by the sculptor Rocco Rossi from Fiesole in 1575 and completed in 1577. It presents an octagonal pond with the sides alternatively concave and convex in portasanta marble and decorated by fillets with sixteen white marble lion heads.
In 1585 it was fed by the Acqua Vergine.
Dalla Porta’s initial project with the fountain leaning against the base of the Colonna Antonina and a background of rocks was never carried out. The project also included the colossal statue of Marforius that today is situated in the courtyard that has its same name in the Capitoline Museums.
In 1656 the fountain was subject to a restoration, certainly of minor importance, by Bernini.
In 1702 pope Clement the Eleventh Albani (1700-1721) put his coat of arms, the eight-pointed star, on the central basin.
In 1830 the star was removed together with the basin and replaced with a work by Alessandro Stocchi that consists of the current white marble basin and two groups of pairs of dauphins with the tails intertwined and a shell.