Started and completed between the end of 1642 and the first half of 1643, the Triton fountain in Piazza Barberini constitutes one of the masterpieces of Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680).
Original power supply: Felice Aqueduct
The artist was commissioned by Pope Urban VIII Barberini (1623-1644) to carry out the work as a "public ornament of the city" in the center of the square dominated by the new palace of his family.
Represented on the valves of an enormous shell, with the erect torso and scaly legs of a sea monster, the Triton stands imposingly with its head bent backwards in an effort to blow into the large whelk (or tortile shell) that it supports with its arms raise upwards and from which copious water flows which sprays the whole work. Expression of the new Baroque conception of space, in the fountain the sculptural part includes and completely absorbs the same architectural structure: the shell on which the triton rests constitutes the upper basin of the fountain, and the baluster at the base is replaced by four dolphins with intertwined tails , among which are the papal coats of arms with bees, the heraldic symbol of the Barberini family.
Bernini himself was also responsible for the creation of a fountain for the use of travelers, originally located on the square, on the corner with Via Sistina, known as the Fountain of the Bees (today at the beginning of Via Veneto).
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