Gianlorenzo bernini, nettuno e il tritone, 1622-23 ca. London and was executed c. It was bought from the family by the Victoria pdf the son of neptune Albert Museum in 1950, although had appeared at an exhibition at the Royal Academy in London in 1938.
Greek myth Neptune is the ruler of earth and all it possesses, just as Zeus is the ruler of the heavens and Hades is the ruler of the Underworld. Neptune and Triton are often depicted in water-like settings, holding tridents and usually driving chariots that have horses shooting out from the water. Bernini’s sculpture gives a slightly different representation of the duo. The story depicted in the sculpture was that Neptune was rescuing the Aenean fleet from raging seas. Bernini re-interpreted the myth, focussing on the responses of Neptune and Triton more than the actual story itself. In the myth, Neptune comes from beneath the seas to split the ships with his trident. Bernini flipped the appearance of the scene, with Neptune pointing the trident downwards and making no reference to the Aenean fleet, thereby giving the impression Neptune ruled the seas from above.
In Bernini’s sculpture, you see Neptune towering over Triton. He appears to be a man in his early thirties, with a beard and wavy locks. Neptune has his legs spread apart and is balancing on a large seashell that carries both himself and Triton. Neptune only has a large sheet covering his right shoulder and gliding in between his legs, revealing parts of the male anatomy. The anatomy of the entire body is defined and the twisting of his torso gives him a more trimmed outline of his muscles, allowing the viewer to pay particular attention to his muscles and how they are contracted or relaxed in his state of movement. While standing, Neptune also holds a trident downward in motion that makes it look like he is about to thrust it at someone.
His arms are tense, forcefully gripping it to dictate his divine power. There is an implication of wind in the long sheet and Neptune’s hair drift backwards, aiding the illusion of reality. Triton, Neptune’s son, is positioned below Neptune’s legs, thrusting himself forward to blow the conch shell. He is noticeably younger, maybe a teenage boy, though also with defined musculature. He blows his shell as a horn to announce that the king of the earth and oceans is approaching. Triton grasps Neptune’s leg and ducks his left shoulder between the thighs of Neptune.