Composers / Edvard Grieg / Places catalog
Piazza Barberini is a big square at the entrance to the Strangers’ Quarter. Its centre is adorned by a Baroque fountain with the figure of Triton by G. L. Bernini. Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson had lodgings here and spent a total of almost ten years in Rome. On the southern frontage of the square, the famous Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen, who lived on Via Sistina, had his atelier. During his first visit to Rome, around the turn of 1866, Grieg often met many Scandinavian artists on Piazza Barberini, including the Norwegian writer and poet Andreas Munch, the Danish composer Carl Christian Hartmann and his friend Georg Bohlmann, an organist and conductor. Grieg treated this square as the starting and finishing point of his trips to the hills of Rome, especially Tivoli. In his diary, he wrote a detailed description of one such trip on 18 February 1866, which led from Piazza Barberini through Porta St Carlo to the Protestant cemetery of Rome, in which the remains of many Scandinavian artists lay, including the Norwegian professor Peter Andreas Munch and the Danish sculptor Peter Christian Schierbeck.
Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, portait by Karl Anderson (1904). (creative commons)
Triton Fountain in the Piazza Barberini. (creative commons)