The return of the Triton

After one year under renovation, the Triton Fountain in Rome is back to its original beauty since last November 19th. The lime scale build-up on Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s masterpiece in Piazza Barberini has been removed, and the lighting and water recirculation systems have been renovated.

Obviously this was not the first time that the fountain – the first among those created by the Neapolitan architect in Rome between 1642 and 1643 for his mentor, Pope Urban VIII – needed maintenance. The previous renovation had been carried out in 1998, although the most “dramatic” renovation was in 1932, when the monument appeared so different after its heavy incrustations had been removed that newspapers at the time reported perhaps the original had been replaced with a copy.

Now the mighty god of the seas, his legs both covered in scales, blows once again into his conch and spurts a vertical jet of water (which used to also produce a hiss, giving the fountain the nickname of “Sounding Triton”).

Once again, the wind ruffles the water in the wide basin, where four dolphins emerge with their mouths open, holding a massive bivalve shell with their tails, as if on a pedestal. A god that is half man and half fish towers over this baroque pyramid, blowing into his marine instrument to cause terrible storms or to intone a delicate song of peace… and to inspire wonder in the beholder.

The return of the Triton

Piazza Barberini


Most Read

Rococo luxury at the Palazzina di Caccia of Stupinigi

The Palazzina di Caccia of Stupinigi, near Turin, was designed by Filippo Juvarra and built in 1729; between the 18th and 19th...

Pietro Piffetti: the king of fine cabinetry

by Barbara Palladino His creations sum up every magnificence of 18th-century Baroque style: Pietro Piffetti was one of the most famous and...

Gabinetto del Segreto Maneggio degli Affari di Stato: a triumph of decorative art

by Barbara Palladino Inside Turin’s Royal Palace is one of the gems of 18th-century Baroque art: the Gabinetto del Segreto Maneggio degli...

Antonio Stradivari: the legend and myth of perfect sound

by Barbara Palladino The Stradivarius violin is renowned as the perfect musical instrument. Playing one is a dream come true for any...