what is the rape of persephone
Persephone is shortly made queen of the sunless world, and is decked in jewels, crowns, silk, all the finery that the Lord of Wealth can offer to her. She grieves for her flowers, the sun, and most of all her mother, though, and refuses to eat or drink anything. (I still think that the best touch is the time when Hades and Persephone end up playing jacks with dimonds and rubies on the floor of the palace of the underworld, and where they play hide-and-go seek with the helmet of invisibility. Now, wouldn’t that be fun?)
In some other stories, she’s in her garden with Ascalaphus when she ends up eating a pomegranate’s seeds. She’s then called out, and Ascalaphus tells Hades that Persephone has eaten the seeds.
The oldest version of the story is located in the vicinity of Eleusis near Athens but later writers, especially the Greek colonists of southern Italy, placed the story on the island of Sicily. The Argives and Kretans, in local cult myths, also claimed the sites of the Rape and the Return.
Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 38. 5 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
“At Eleusis flows a Kephisos (Cephisus) River . . . and by the side of it is the place they call Erineus, saying that Plouton [Haides] descended there to the lower world after carrying off Kore (Core) [Persephone].”
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.  
Most critics have been quick to praise the work. Rudolf Wittkower noted: “representations of such rape scenes depended on Bernini’s new, dynamic conception for the next hundred and fifty years”.  Howard Hibbard makes similar comments noting the realistic effects that Bernini had achieved via carving hard marble, such as the “texture of the skin, the flying ropes of hair, the tears of Persephone and above all the yielding flesh of the girl”.  The choice of incident to depict the story is commonly cited as well: Pluto’s hands encircle the waist of Proserpina just as she throws her arms out in an attempt to escape.  Bernini’s own son and biographer, Domenico, called it “an amazing contrast of tenderness and cruelty”. 
Persephone, carried on Hades’s shoulder, puts up a struggle and cries out. The present forces confront each other under the form of Hermes directing the road to the underworld from behind the quadriga and an armed Athena who desperately tries to stop the chariot.
Two of Persephone’s companions witness the scene. One remains in shock while the other tries to cut the horses’ reins. The horses convey all of the violence of the kidnapping.
The racing chariot depicted in such a way depicts the voyage to the underworld and the surpassing of physical human limits.
The Myth of the Rape of Persephone
This was copied later in the 17th century by Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo in oil on canvas under the name of El Rapto de Proserpina, and later again reproduced by the Real Establecimiento Litográfico de Madrid in the 19th century for the purpose of printing and distribution.
The Rape of Persephone is a classical mythological subject in Western art, depicting the abduction of Persephone by Hades. This then resulted in the myth surrounding the creation of the seasons, as Demeter mourned the time that Persephone spent in the Underworld with her husband.