Bernini Appreciation

One of the artists I am most fond of is Gianlorenzo Bernini. Bernini was born in Naples, Italy in 1598 and grew up mostly in Rome, which highly influenced his art. He studied the works of Raphel and Michelangelo but the Hellenistic style showed up frequently in his works. The Italian artist is commonly recognized by his dexterous sculptures. In fact, Bernini had such a notable style and technique that his work surpassed far beyond other artists during the Baroque movement.

One of my favorite sculptures of his is “Triton’s Fountain,” which was commissioned by Pope Urban VIII (the eight) for the Piazza Barberini Center in 1642. The purpose of this commission was simply to show his contribution and thanks to the Acqua Felice Aqueduct, which supplied water for the Piazza Barberini and its neighboring area. The fountain was also a way of dividing the water all throughout different paths.

Bernini's Triton's fountain
Bernini shows off his great knowledge and influence of the classical era with this piece. He depicts a Greek mythological god, Triton, who is the God of the Sea. Triton is shown as a merman, kneeling on top of a scallop shell that is opened and he is holding his ingenious conch shell right at his mouth. This is quite iconic because the conch is how Triton calls for the waves/water and that is one area where the water comes out of the fountain.

The texture he carves onto Triton is very muscular and strong, there is a real sense of the classical world but it is also very detailed in an intensified, realistic way. Then the fish at the bottom of the fountain just portray a simple, smooth, scaled texture. Bernini was no hoax when it came to applying very realistic textures, which I admire greatly about him. This piece is a great example to show off his talents!

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