12 February 2009

The Rape of the Sabine Women

As I mentioned in my previous post, "rape" here means abduction or kidnapping rather than sexual assault. For those unfamiliar with the story, this song about the 'sobbing women' from the musical "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" gives a good summary:

The above 1525 picture by Il Sodoma is now in Rome's Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, but does not appear to be on their website.

Rubens's 1635-1640 picture of the Rape of the Sabine Women is now in London's National Gallery. Contemporary with it are Poussin's two pictures on the subject shown below. The upper picture is now in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and the lower one is in Paris's Louvre.

In the early 1670s Giordano painted a Rape of the Sabine Women now in Canberra's National Gallery of Australia. Ricci's 1700 picture on the same theme is now in Vienna's Liechtenstein Museum. The picture below was painted by Tiepolo in 1718/19 and is now in St. Petersburg's Hermitage.

David chose a later episode in the story for the 1790s picture below, showing the Intervention of the Sabine Women to stop the battle between their Sabine relatives and their new Roman husbands. The picture is now in Paris's Louvre. The painting was the inspiration for Eve Sussman's recent video musical, The Rape of the Sabine Women.

In the 20th century Picasso also chose to show a battle between Romans and Sabines over the women in his 1963 Rape of the Sabine Women now in Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. (all pictures in the public domain. The Il Sodoma and Poussin pictures are from wiki commons, and the Tiepolo and David pictures are from Museum Syndicate)

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