The Abduction of the Sabine Women

The Abduction of the Sabine Women

1585

Andrea Andreani

(Italian, about 1558–1610)

after Giambologna

(Flemish, active Italy, 1529-1608)

Chiaroscuro woodcut (in three shades of brown and black)

Support: On 6 sheets

Bequest of Grover Higgins by exchange 1981.15

Catalogue raisonné: Bartsch XII.94.4

Description

The legend of the Sabine women relates to Rome’s early history when, to ensure the future population of the city, its founder Romulus hosted a festival for neighboring peoples, including the Sabines. At an appointed moment during the festivities, each young man of Rome kidnapped an unmarried Sabine woman to be his bride. Later, when the Sabines attacked Rome, it was the abducted Sabine women who courageously stopped the brutal battle and demanded peace between their fathers, brothers, and husbands. Andreani’s chiaroscuro woodcut, with its brown-red tone, subtle shadows, and warm highlights, was a fitting choice for reproducing Giambologna’s original bronze relief, created for the pedestal of his sculpture The Abduction of a Sabine Woman.

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