where is the rape of proserpina statue
This depiction captures the scene at the climax of the moment; Pluto is lifting Proserpina into the air, and she is visibly fighting back. This snapshot in time contains a considerable amount of life-like detail. These details, like the expression of fear on Proserpina’s face or the sense of overwhelming force created by the muscular form of Pluto, inform the viewer and tell an entire story with a single moment in time. This dynamic representation, a trait developed by the Baroque masters, 7 creates a vivid and believable representation of this myth.
This sculpture was commissioned by Cardinal Borghese of the Catholic Church and is still located in the Galleria Borghese—the room for which it was commissioned—in Rome, Italy. It depicts the Roman mythological story of the abduction and subsequent rape of Proserpina by the god, Pluto.
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.
Crafted in the early 17th century, this marble sculpture illustrates several of Bernini’s strong suits, including his mastery of anatomy and ability to evoke both dynamism and drama. While these achievements continue to garner praise for the sculptor today, its unsavory subject matter has cast a controversial shadow over the work—though it remains a quintessential highlight of both the Baroque era and of marble sculpture as a whole.
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.  
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”.  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. ” 
Demeter begged Zeus to command the release of her daughter, and Persephone was told that she would be released from the underworld, as long as she didn’t consume any food while she was there. But when she thought no one was looking, Persephone went into the garden and ate six pomegranate seeds. She was thus doomed to spend six months of the year with Hades, while for the other six months she could return to Earth to see her mother. The myth holds that the months Persephone spends in the underworld leave the earth cold, dark, and wintry, but when she returns, spring and summer accompany her.
In Greek mythology, Persephone (also known as Proserpina) was the daughter of Zeus and Demeter (goddess of agriculture) and was queen of the Underworld. One day while the young maiden was picking flowers, Hades, god of the underworld, kidnapped Persephone and carried her back to the underworld to be his wife.
This marble statue tells the story of the Roman goddess Proserpina and the god Pluto (in Greek mythology Persephone and Hades, respectively). The story goes that Pluto was overcome by Proserpina’s beauty and abducted her to come be the queen of the Underworld. Proserpina’s mother, Ceres (a goddess of agriculture and life), placed a drought on the earth until her daughter was returned. Eventually a compromise was struck. Proserpina would spend half the year in the Underworld, and half the year with her mother. To the ancients, this explained the agricultural seasons. The plants died when Proserpina was taken into the Underworld, and returned when she returned to her joyous mother.
It’s amazing how lifelike painters can render their subjects using only pigments and canvas. It’s perhaps even more impressive, however, when artists are able to capture texture, emotion, and movement in a solid piece of stone. Marble sculpture has deep roots in European history, dating back to the societies of ancient Greece and Rome.