BERNINI, Gian Lorenzo
(b. 1598, Napoli, d. 1680, Roma)

Neptune and Triton

Marble, height 182 cm
Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The sculpture was commissioned by Cardinal Peretti Montalto for decorating the pond in the garden of his Villa 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 Aeneis. Neptune is calming the sea to ensure the safe passage for Aeneas. Triton, Neptune's son gives a signal with his shell-horn. The triangular composition foresees the composition of David.