The frontispiece on the first page of the first book contains quite a bit of revealing information about the origins and motivation to create this book. First of all the book is adressed to Agostino Chigi. Agostino Chigi, who was a very prominent member of the influential Chigi family in Rome, gave the order to document the works of his great-uncle, the Pope Alexander VII or also known as Fabio Chigi. Alexander VII had a great interest in the urban and architectural situation of Rome. During his reign he carried out numerous urban and architectural projects which shaped Rome to this day. Aside from redesigning several plazas, Alexander VII also gave the order to build several fountains in the public space of Rome. Agostino Chigi ordered this book to honour his great-uncle and his work. He gave the order to Giovanni Giacomo de Rossi, who in turn, put Giovanni Battista Falda as the illustrator to work.
The book actually consist of a collection of Books illustrating the fountains in different parts of Rome. They focus on the following areas in order:
- Fountains in the public spaces and squares of Rome
- Fountains of the villas de frascati in Tusculano
- Fountains in the palaces and gardens of Rome
- Fountains of the Este Garden in Tivoli