The Rape of a Sabine, After Giambologna

After Giambologna (born Flanders, active Italy, 1529–1608) 

The Rape of a Sabine, after 1582 


Purchased with funds derived from gifts of Mrs. Phillip E. Spalding, Mr. and Mrs. Theodore A. Cooke, Mr. and Mrs. Walter F. Dillingham, Robert Allerton, Anna Rice Cooke, Mrs. C. C. Kennedy, and Mr. and Mrs. Walter F. Child, and with Academy funds, 1981 (4977.1)

 Giambologna is widely recognized as one of the most influential sculptors of the 16th and 17th centuries. Under the patronage of the powerful and wealthy Medici family, he created a variety of sculptures, from large-scale marble statue groups to bronze reproductions of his most popular works, an example of which is on view here. Scaled-down replicas of the popular Rape of a Sabine were as important to disseminating Giambologna’s talents as were the original masterpieces, since the hollow bronze sculptures could be easily transported throughout Europe. The Medicis often presented works like this one as diplomatic gifts for heads of state. The title of this work, Rape of a Sabine, was not determined until after the original was completed in 1582, which indicates that Giambologna was more interested in the study of the human form in three dimensions than in the precise depiction of a scene from ancient history