Triton Fountain

7:00 AM

Bernini, Triton Fountain, 1642-43
Before Bernini, fountains didn't breathe. The water didn't undulate down the perfectly sculpted forms. Attention was paid more to the figurative and symbolic aspects of the piece, not the artistic. Fountains were meant to be seen, not felt.

Bernini's Triton doesn't stand stoically tall with his name-sake staff, staring off into the middle distance with vacant eyes. It's involved, active, and relatable. Triton guzzles water like it's his life force while four dolphins rear up to support his often-depicted shell. Although Triton isn't standing, he cuts just as formidable of a presence. His torso ripples with muscle and his long beard, saturated with water, glistens in the sun.

Triton is Bernini's first fountain, but he's no novice. Triton embodies what Bernini does best, and only hints at what's to come.

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