Italian Hand Carved Stone Sculptures Since 1903

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.

The work of Bernini captures the action at the peak of its development and offers the observer the maximum pathos: the emotions of the characters are in fact and readable through the gestures and expressiveness of the faces. Pluto is distinguished by his regal attributes (the crown and the scepter) while behind him Cerberus, the ferocious guardian of Hades, controls that no one hinders the path of the master, turning his three heads in all directions. Proserpina struggles in vain to escape the erotic fury of Pluto pushing his left hand on the face of the god, who, instead, holds it hard, literally sinking his fingers into the thigh and side of the woman. With this detail, through which Bernini made the softness of Proserpina's meat with remarkable verisimilitude, the sculptor demonstrated his amazing virtuosity.
 

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The group, a masterpiece of Baroque sculpture, has a privileged point of view, that of the front, which makes the characters recognizable and understandable the scene. The work, however, is readable by all the visuals, as each point of view is able to continue the narration of the sculpture: looking at Pluto from the left, in fact, it turns out that the god is just starting to run, while looking at Proserpina from the diagonal of his plinth is seen how his eyes from that position seem to look exclusively at the viewer.

Dimensions: Height Cm. 260 ( 102” )

 

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