30 April 2010

Persephone: The 16th century

Next in Ovid's Metamorphoses is the story of Proserpine, or as she is better known under her Greek name, Persephone. Paintings of Persephone in the 16th century concentrated on the Rape of Persephone ("rape" here meaning kidnapping). (picture of pomegranate from wikicommons used under creative commons licence. Other images are in the public domain and also come from wikicommons.)

Our first picture was painted by Niccolò dell'Abbate, probably shortly before his death in 1571. The painting is now in the Louvre. At about the same time Christoph Schwarz was producing a Rape of Proserpine, now in Cambridge's Fitzwilliam Museum.

Paris Bordone must have painted his Rape of Proserpine some time before this as he died in 1571. The painting is now in Milan's Galleria Salomon (scroll down).

In 1581 Hans von Aachen painted the above Rape of Persephone, which is now in Sibiu's Brukenthal Palace. In 1598 Joseph Heintz the Elder painted a Rape of Prosperine, which is now in Dresden's Gemaldegalerie. Unfortunately, their online presence is in Second Life and so inaccessible to me as I'm not a member.