Fontana del Tritone, Rome

Rome, Italy

Fontana del Tritone, Rome

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Fontana del Tritone (Triton Fountain) is a seventeenth-century fountain in Rome, by the Baroque sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Commissioned by his patron, Pope Urban VIII, the fountain is located in the Piazza Barberini, near the entrance to the Palazzo Barberini (which now houses the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica) that Bernini helped to design and construct for the Barberini, Urban's family. This fountain should be distinguished from the nearby Fontana dei Tritoni (Fountain of the Tritons) by Carlo Francesco Bizzaccheri in Piazza Bocca della Verità which features two Tritons.

The fountain was executed in travertine in 1642–43. At its centre rises a larger than lifesize muscular Triton, a minor sea god of ancient Greco-Roman legend, depicted as a merman kneeling on the sum of four dolphin tailfins. His head is thrown back and his arms raise a conch to his lips; from it a jet of water spurts, formerly rising dramatically higher than it does today. The fountain has a base of four dolphins that entwine the papal tiara with crossed keys and the heraldic Barberini bees in their scaly tails.

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