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Neptune and Triton

Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

Neptune and Triton is an early sculpture by the 17th century Italian sculptor and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini. It is housed in the Victoria and Albert Museum of London.

Originally, the sculpture was commissioned by Cardinal Peretti Montalto for decorating the pond in the garden of his Villa Peretti Montalto on Mount Esquilinus in Rome. Later it was purchased by an Englishman from whom it went to the painter Sir Joshua Reynolds.

The subject comes from Virgil's Aeneid. Neptune is calming the sea to ensure the safe passage for Aeneas. Triton, Neptune's son gives a signal with his shell-horn. Originally this was a fountain and water billowed from his horn. A similar device would be used in Bernini's fountain of the Tritone for Piazza Barberini in Rome.

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