A Tourist in Rome - Triton Fountain

Location:Piazza Barberini
Metro:Barberini
Time:about 10 minutes
Cost:Free
Hours:Viewable at any time

The Triton Fountain was sculpted by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in 1642-1643. It is located just steps from the Barberini metro stop. The fountain features a larger-than-life Triton kneeling on a huge opened scallop shell held up by the tails of four dolpins. His head is thrown back, looking at the sky, and he holds a conch shell to his lips from which a jet of water spurts skyward. After the jetted water falls down onto the Triton and drips into the scallop shell, it flows over the edge into the pool at the bottom of the fountain. The dolphins who hold up the Triton have crests between them with Barberini bees on the crests. This was the first of Bernini's fountains, being followed by the Fountain of the Bees, the Fountain of the Four Rivers, the Moor Fountain, the Sinking Boat Fountain and the Bernini Fountain in St. Peter's Square. Ottorino Respighi really nailed his tone-painting of the Triton Fountain in his work, the Fountains of Rome. The Triton Fountain was under renovation in fall of 2013, covered by a construction barrier and unable to be seen. This makes at least 7 things that are undergoing renovation in fall of 2013, the other six being the Arch of Constantine, the Pyramid of Cestius, the Colosseum, the Fountain at Villa Medici, the Bernini Fountain and the Fountain of Ponte Sisto. The renovation was complete before my next visit in the fall of 2013. It should be easy to tell which photos below were taken before the renovation and which were taken after. Like at the Trevi Fountain, it is said that throwing a coin into the Triton Fountain guarantees your return to Rome, but I think you can safely save your euro and only throw one into the Trevi :-)

    
The newly-cleaned Triton Fountain, by Bernini
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Triton Fountain, by Bernini
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Triton Fountain, by Bernini
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The newly-cleaned Triton Fountain, by Bernini
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The newly-cleaned Triton Fountain, by Bernini
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The base of the newly-cleaned Triton Fountain, by Bernini
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The newly-cleaned Triton Fountain, by Bernini
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Bernini's terra-cotta models of the Triton Fountain have somehow made their way to the Detroit Institute of Arts (two photos below).

    
One of Bernini's terra-cotta models of the Triton Fountain, at the Detroit Institute of Arts
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One of Bernini's terra-cotta models of the Triton Fountain, at the Detroit Institute of Arts
See all Triton Fountain photos.
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