Rape of Proserpina (Rape of the Sabine Woman)
c. 1579
Jean Boulogne called Giambologna (Flemish, 1529-1608 (active in Italy))
On View

Giovanni da Bologna traveled to Rome in 1550 to complete his training with Michelangelo. Thereafter he made his career in Florence working for the Medici. This sculpture may be a preliminary study for his life-size, three-figured marble Rape of a Sabine in Florence. The forceful, contrasting movement of the figures is complemented by their physical differences—the taut, muscular youth, the supple, curving female form—and their psychological contrasts conveyed by gesture and pose. The drama of the movement is heightened by the use of contrapposto in which the upper and lower parts of the body twist in opposite directions, encouraging the viewer to walk around the piece and observe it from all points of view.


  • Artist Name: Jean Boulogne called Giambologna (Flemish, 1529-1608 (active in Italy))
  • Title: Rape of Proserpina (Rape of the Sabine Woman)
  • Date: c. 1579
  • Medium: Bronze
  • Dimensions: overall: 38 1/2 x 10 x 18 in. (97.79 x 25.4 x 45.7 cm)
  • Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation
  • Accession Number: F.1965.1.127.S
  • Copyright: © The Norton Simon Foundation

Object Information

[Hamburger Brothers, Paris, by 1904-until at least 1907].
George J. Gould, Lakewood, New Jersey, sold 1927 to;
[Duveen Brothers, New York (stock no. 28799), sold 1965 to];
The Norton Simon Foundation.

Exposition rétrospective des oeuvres des beaux-arts

  • St. Petersberg, Baron Stieglitz Museum, 1904 to
  • Washington University, Gallery of Art, Giambologna's Conception of the Rape of the Sabine Women: A Study Exhibition in the Connoisseurship of Bronze Statuettes,no. 2
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best,2010, cat. D74 p. 447
  • Trésors d'Art en Russia,pls. 111, 112 p.364
  • Prachoff, Adrien, Album de l'Exposition Rétrospective d'Objects d'Art de 1904 à St. Petersbourg, p. 93
  • Pope-Hennessy, John, Introduction to Italian Sculpture. Part III: Italian High Renaissance and Baroque Sculpture, pp. 80, 82-83
  • Duveen Bros., Art of Tuscany: Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture,no. 25
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