I do love fountains, and Rome has some grand fountains. Somehow the Fontana de Tritone seems very out of place. It is surrounded by tall buildings and a very busy piazza that is choked by traffic. I have to wonder what it might have been like when the fountain was sculpted originally about 1642.
The Triton Fountain was the first of the great scultor Gianlorenzo Bernini's urban fountains. Some of his other fountains include the much more ornate (and famous) Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona. Bernini's talent was by no means limited to sculpture, he was, after all, the architect that designed St Peter's Square. That said, his versatility was pretty amazing, as was his talent.
The fountain is located near the entrance to the Palazzo Barberini, which today houses the National Gallery of Ancient Art. Incidentally, Bernini helped to design this palazzo too. The Barberini were originally from Tuscany but escaped the Medici to make a fortune in Rome. Something not uncommon for the powerful families of Rome, a Barberini was elected pope in 1623. Maffeo Barberini became Pope Urban VIII. You can see the bees on the crest at the base of the sculpture, which are part of the Barberini coat of arms.
This fountain should be seen more for the quality of sculpture than as a fountain really.
The Fontana del Tritone is a Bernini creation, but gets little notice in its setting on the bare Piazza Barberini set in a very busy traffic area. In fact, I probably would not have even noticed it if our hotel shuttle hadn’t dropped us off at this piazza each day.
Unlike so many of the statues and fountains we see in Rome, the Triton Fountain seems to need some love. It is covered with moss and the water pressure is so low that Bernini’s original plan for the fountain is not in place – he designed it so that he water would shoot from the conch shell in Triton’s hands, arching over to the scalloped shells from which the water would cascade over the edge. Today, it just shoots straight up and then sort of dribbles down and over.
At the base of the statue are four cute dolphins (not realistic in any way) that support the fountain. Because the fountain was commissioned by Pope Urban VIII, who was a Barberini, the Barberini coat of arms is placed on this base between the dolphins and the scalloped shells. You can tell a Barberini coat of arms by the bees on it. And the piazza is named after the pope as well – Piazza Barberini. (NOTE: you can see this same coat of arms with the bees in St. Peter’s Basilica on Bernini’s baldacchino that covers the high altar.
There is a metro stop (Barberini) at this piazza and it is not a far walk from the Trevi Fountain or Spanish steps.
The Barberini Pope, Urban VIII, comissioned this fountain from the famous Baroque architect-sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini in 1642. It is located in Piazza Barberini, near the Palazzo Barberini.
The sea-god Triton is kneeling on the tailfins of four dolphins, drinking water from a conch. This stands for the control of water, commemorating the completion of the Felice Aqueduct in that period.
The fountain is significant in that it is the first free-standing sculpture-fountain to be erected in a public square, not in a private garden.
Fontana del Tritone (Triton Fountain, in English) is one of the masterpieces of Gian Lorenzo Bernini made among 1642 and 1643. Berninin design the fountain for his patron Maffeo Barberini, who had become pope as Urban VIII.
It shows a big Triton depicted as a merman kneeling on an opened scallop shell. He throws back his head to raise a conch to his lips: from it a jet of water spurts. The base of the fountain shows four dolphins that entwine the papal tiara with crossed keys and the heraldic Barberini bees in their scaly tails.
This fountain is in an irregularly-shaped triangular parking island in a major intersection. Good luck getting there.
The plaza Barberini is small and unimpressive, the roads are paved with asphalt, and the metro stop seems hidden under the concrete.
But hey, this is another Bernini, so it should be visited
Bernini's Fontana del Tritone at Piazza Barberini (previously called Piazza Grimana)
Via del Tritone is on the left of the picture, notice the Hotel Bernini in the background.
If all roads lead to Rome, Piazza Barberini is probably where ! ......at foot of Via Barberini, Via Vittorio Veneto, Via del Tritone, VIa Barberini, Via del Quattro Fontane,Via Sistina......!
Metal deposits have left their mark - this is one that is needing a spring clean !
This famouse fountain is located in the center of the Piazza Barberini. The Triton is suported by a shell which in turn rests on the arched tails of four dolphins and he drinks honey. It’s very interesting combination.
It was created for Pope Urban VIII Barberini in 1642. Acrobatic dolphins stand on their heads, twisting their tails together to support a huge scallop shell on which the sea god Triton kneels, blowing a spindly column of water up into the air through a conch shell.
As we were just walking around we sited a beautiful fountain sitting in the middle of the street without a large crowd surrounding it. It wasn’t in my guide book but later on ‘I found out it was the Fountain of Triton. It is a Baroque fountain made in Travertine by Gian Lorenzo Bernini around 1642., the fountain is without doubt one of the most beautiful in the city, especially for the naturalism with which the artist represented the sea monster, half man and half fish, seated on the valves of an open shell. The Triton has a powerful physical build and is shown blowing through a conch The base of this fountain is comprised of four dolphins. Also represented are papal symbols and bees--a specific heraldic symbol of the Barberini family. (Pope Urban VIII was from the Barberini family.)
One of the first fountains 'Bernini' designed.
It was pope Urbanus VIII who ordered this
masterpiece. Easy to spot his coat of arms.
Two crossed keys indicate that he was a pope ,
the bees are the symbol of the family
The family Barberini originated of Barberino
in the Else valley. They first settled in Florence
before coming to Rome. Here they became
really wealthy and powerfull. Having a pope
in the family helped a lot.
'Triton' is a figure from the greek mythology.
He was the son of Poseidon and also served him.
Triton is blowing water true the shell...
What was new about this fountain is the
use of material. Travertine replaced the more
common marble here.
The dolphins are looking kind of odd seen
true our 20th century eyes.
There is a cool fountain by Bernini located in Piazza Barberini. We walked over here from the Spanish Steps and it was quite a different environment. Perhaps because of the heavy traffic around it, no tourists were here.
Thought to be one of the most beautiful Roman fountains, it was built in travertine by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in 1643.
Between the dophins' tails which support the shell on which the Triton crouches, Bernini placed two coats of arms of the Barberini family.
The Triton which blows in the shell pushes out a jet of water, which, falling on the valves which direct it into the basin below, creates an incredibly choreographic effect.
It was restored both in 1932 and 1990.
My favourite fountain in Rome is the Fontana del Tritone in the middle of Piazza Barberini. Designed by Bernini it depictsTriton with a shell on his head from which the water powerfully sprays into the air. Triton sits on another shell which is kept in balance by the tails of four dolphins.
In this 18th century fountain, built by Carlo Bizzaccheri for Pope Clement XI, water spills over a craggy rock formation where two Tritons hold aloft a large shell.