the rape of proserpina painting

The rape of proserpina painting
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. [10] [11]
As with many of Bernini’s early works, it was commissioned by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, possibly alongside a portrait of Scipione’s uncle Pope Paul V (who had died in 1621). Bernini received at least three payments for the statue, of value of at least 450 Roman scudi. The sculpture was begun in 1621 and completed in 1622. Quite soon after its completion, the statue was given by Scipione to Cardinal Ludovisi in 1622, who transported it to his villa. Purchased by the Italian State, it returned to the Villa Borghese in 1908. [3]

The rape of proserpina painting
As part of a set of oil studies intended to be used for painting the ceiling frescoes in the Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence, the Mythological Scene with the Rape of Proserpine was created with the intention of being presented to Marquess Francesco Riccardi for approval before being painted in the palace. Currently, ten of the twelve oil studies created between 1682-1685 reside in the National Gallery. [3]
Created between 1636 – 1637, Peter Paul Rubens depicted the abduction of Persephone in a piece entitled The Rape of Proserpine. The piece was intended to decorate the lost Torre de la Parada, and as such was owned by the Spanish Royal family. [1]

The rape of proserpina painting
This interest in transforming stone into skin is particularly evident in The Rape of Proserpina, a piece intended to portray a dramatic abduction (in the case of its title, the term “rape” refers to the act of kidnapping). “Pushed to the point of grazing the physical limits of marble,” Bernini’s attention to detail and interest in realism is evident in the work’s anatomical details. As the hand of Pluto (the sculpture’s male subject) grabs the thigh of Proserpina (the female figure), his grasping fingers appear to sink into her seemingly soft skin. Similarly, straining to overpower her, the muscles in his bent legs and tense arms protrude, while her flowing hair and twisting drapery suggest movement.
Bernini completed The Rape of Prosperina between 1621 and 1622. Though the Naples-born artist was just 23 years old at the time, he was already seeing success as a budding artist. While he wouldn’t complete his architectural masterpiece, St. Peter’s Basilica, for over 40 years, he had already carved out a name for himself in the early 1620s as a celebrated sculptor with four masterpieces: David; Aeneas, Anchises, and Ascanius; Apollo and Daphne; and, of course, The Rape of Proserpina.

The rape of proserpina painting
As with many of Bernini’s early works, it was commissioned by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, possibly alongside a portrait of Scipione’s uncle Pope Paul V (who had died in 1621). Bernini received at least three payments for the statue, of value of at least 450 Roman scudi. The sculpture was begun in 1621 and completed in 1622. Quite soon after its completion, the statue was given by Scipione to Cardinal Ludovisi in 1622, who transported it to his villa. Purchased by the Italian State, it returned to the Villa Borghese in 1908. [3]
However, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when Bernini’s reputation was at a low ebb, critics found fault with the statue. The eighteenth-century French visitor Jerome de la Lande allegedly wrote: “Pluto’s back is broken; his figure extravagant, without character, nobleness of expression, and its outline bad; the female one no better”. [8] Another French visitor to the Villa Ludovisi was equally critical, stating: “The head of Pluto is vulgarly gay; his crown and beard give him a ridiculous air, while the muscles are strongly marked and the figure poses. It is not a true divinity, but a decorative god. ” [9]

The rape of proserpina painting
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.
Movement:
Not only are the figures portrayed in the midst of frenzied movement, but the viewer himself is encouraged to move 360 degrees around the sculpture in order to take it all in.

References:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_of_Persephone
http://mymodernmet.com/bernini-the-rape-of-proserpina/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rape_of_Proserpina
http://www.artble.com/artists/gian_lorenzo_bernini/sculpture/the_rape_of_persephone
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rape_of_Proserpina

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