The Triton Fountain, located in Piazza Barberini, near the palace of the same name, is one of several fountains created by the great Italian architect and sculptor Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini in Rome. It is one of the outstanding architectural and sculptural objects of the Eternal City.
Bernini is entrusted with the work on the ensemble of the new square. The outstanding master creates not just a fountain, but a real masterpiece that has survived the centuries and is still considered one of the best examples of fountain art in the world.
As one of the founders of Baroque sculpture, Giovanni Bernini performs the Triton fountain in the Baroque style. He abandons the standards and clichés of fountain art that had developed by that time, presenting a completely innovative creation to the audience. Fortunately for us, Pope Urban VIII turns out to be a person who is not alien to the new and approves the project, despite numerous criticism.
Berinini takes the idea for his fountain from the popular Renaissance poem "Metamorphoses". Its author, the ancient Roman poet Ovid, inspiredly conveys the myth of Triton, the son of the sea god Poseidon, who knows how to calm the raging sea with the help of his horn-shell.
Triton becomes the center of the composition of Bernini's new creation. Instead of a bowl filled with water and a monolithic pedestal, which by that time had become a classic of fountain art, the sculptor offers an unexpected solution.
He places the figure of the mighty Triton between the open shells of the shell, into which water flows, blown out of his mythical forge (the son of the sea god uses a sea shell as a forge). This composition is set by the "king of the baroque", as Bernini was called, on the tails of four ferocious dolphins, which gives the entire sculptural group the lightness and grace characteristic of the baroque style.
Following the practice adopted in those years to perpetuate the name of its owner on the building, Bernini places among the dolphins leaning out of the water the papal tiara and the coat of arms of the Barberini family, depicting bees, whose honey, according to legend, healed one of the heirs of the family from a serious illness.
Triton Berinini is distinguished by extraordinary plasticity and dynamism, which emphasize and enhance the flowing streams of water. It is no coincidence that the eminent sculptor chose a material that is easy to work with - travertine for the embodiment of his idea, which has complex and bizarre forms. This rock was widely used in construction in ancient Rome.
Triton Fountain facts
The Triton Fountain, like other fountains in Rome, feeds the Aqua Feliz aqueduct. At the moment of opening, Triton was blowing out of his forge-shell a much more powerful jet of water than now. The noise of the falling water was so impressive that the fountain was called the Roaring Triton.
According to art critics, the pacifying water element Triton has a symbolic meaning for Rome - a city that has survived more than one devastating flood caused by the floods of the Tiber. Thus, the fountain became a kind of protector of the Eternal City, bringing peace and tranquility to the Romans.
The Triton Fountain is the central composition Piazza Barberini... It looks very impressive in the evening when a beautiful backlight is turned on.
In 2013, a complete restoration of the monument was carried out. After removing all the lime deposits, the sculptural composition appeared before the Romans and numerous tourists in the form in which it was conceived by the author - dazzling white.
On the same square, there is another fountain created by Bernini by order of Pope Urban VIII - the Fountain of the Bees. This small fountain, conceived as a continuation of the Triton fountain, was intended to serve private individuals, as the inscription on it says. The horses were watered from it. He is now drinkable.
The Bee Fountain depicts an open shell, along which three bees, symbols of the Barberini family, descend into the water.
How to get to the Triton fountain
Bernini's Triton is located in the center of Piazza Barberini. It is a historic area of Rome, located between the Salustia Gardens and the Quirinal Hill. Many buses stop near the square, but the easiest way to get to the fountain is by metro - you need to take line A to Barberini station.
Tourists by car should be very careful. Getting around Rome by car is not easy. Finding a free parking space is very difficult. However, just a 5-minute walk from the Bernini Fountain, there is the Garage Barberini, a paid indoor car park.
Path from the Garage Barberini parking to Piazza Barberini and the Triton Fountain
Of course, in Rome you can always use a taxi service, for example, the international service Uber.
Fountain of Triton in Piazza Barberini on video
Night panorama of Piazza Barberini and the Triton fountain on Google Maps