bernini rape of persephone
Others have remarked on the twisted contrapposto or figura serpentinata pose of the group. While reminiscent of Mannerism, particularly Giambologna’s The Rape of the Sabine Women, Bernini permits the viewer to absorb the scene from one single viewpoint. While other views provide further details, a spectator can see the desperation of Proserpina and the lumbering attempts of Pluto to grab her. This was in contrast to the Mannerist sculpture of Giambologna, which required the spectator to walk around the sculpture to gain a view of each of character’s expression.  
The Rape of Proserpina (Italian: Ratto di Proserpina) is a large Baroque marble sculptural group by Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini, executed between 1621 and 1622. Bernini was only 23 years old at its completion. It depicts the Abduction of Proserpina, who is seized and taken to the underworld by the god Pluto.  
“The Rape of Proserpina” (detail). Image Credit: Wikipedia
Gian Lorenzo Bernini, “The Rape of Proserpina,” 1622, Marble. Commissioned by Cardinal Scipione Borghese. Galleria Borghese, Rome, Italy. Image Credit: Columbia University
Alessandro Allori, “The Abduction of Proserpine,” 1570 (Photo: Wikimedia Commons Public Domain)
Recently, for example, Thomas Campbell, the director the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, praised the “compelling, hypnotizing, even inspiring” elements of the piece. “And yet . . . ” he added, “I am now struggling to recalibrate my thoughts on this work because a subject that I used to regard almost as an academic premise for virtuoso sculpture—abduction scenes are, after all, common in renaissance and baroque art—seems much less academic two years after the start of the ‘Me Too’ movement.”
This stunning sculpture exemplifies the best of the baroque and demonstrates Bernini’s ability to handle marble and produce credible figures. Like his other works, the Rape of Persephone is fraught with emotion and tension, achieving a hitherto unseen level of life-like action. Bernini’s pieces can always be recognized by the minute attention to detail, grandiose theatricality, and ornate design.
The Rape of Persephone
Church leaders called for art pieces that would captivate the audiences, and this is one of them. The Baroque style valued theatrics, drama and engaging in naturalism. Gian Lorenzo managed to display some of these characteristics in his art pieces. In this sculpture, he depicted the most dramatic moment in the story to ensure the scene evokes emotions to the audience. The figures are displayed twisting and straining to opposing directions. In addition, he bestowed the figures with individualised features to bring out the naturalism.
The ornate design, grandiose theatricality and attention to detail make this sculpture a unique art piece. This technique enables the sculpture to evoke heart-rending emotion among the audience who identify with the story portrayed. The Rape of Proserpina by Gian Lorenzo Bernini was a touch of class owing to the effort the artist put into it.