By Giovanni Bologna / Triton / 16th century (1560-70)By Giovanni Bologna
16th century (1560-70)

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Creator Name: Bologna, Giovanni da
Creator Role: Sculptor
Creator Dates/Places: ca. 1529-1608
Creator Name-CRT: By Giovanni Bologna
Title: Triton
View: Alternate View
Creation Start Date: 1560
Creation End Date: 1570
Creation Date: 16th century (1560-70)
Object Type: Sculpture
Classification Term: Sculpture-bronze
Materials and Techniques: bronze
Dimensions: H. 36 in. (91.5 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 14.40.689
Credit Line: Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913

The Triton, seated on a circular base formed of three dolphins with tails interlaced and heads resting on three inverted scallop shells, originally served as a fountain figure. Like most of the sculptor's compositions, this work was meant to be viewed from all sides. With its supple modeling and its vigorous chasing, the present bronze is the earliest example of this composition to survive and should be dated to the artist's early maturity, in the 1560s, shortly after he arrived in Florence from his native Flanders.

Giambologna was renowned for his skill in casting bronze, the medium in which almost all his work (ranging in scale from minute to monumental) was executed. The nature of the casting process lent itself to the multiplication of original models under the sculptor's supervision as well as the production of so-called aftercasts. One of Giambologna's own casts of the Triton, presumably fairly large like this example, was sent to France along with a cast of his celebrated Mercury. Known reductions of the Triton composition show the streamlined simplifications that mark the majority of later bronzes after Giovanni Bologna's models, which became increasingly popular during the seventeenth century.

AMICA ID: MMA_.14.40.689
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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