Tuesday, February 25, 2020

01 Painting, Olympian deities, by the Old Masters, with footnotes #42

Follower of Pietro da Cortona
A Roman Carrying a Sabine Woman 
Oil on canvas 
88 x 41 1/4 inches (223.5 x 104.7 cm) 
Private collection

Rape of the Sabine Women is the common name of an incident from Roman mythology, in which the men of Rome committed a mass abduction of young women from the other cities in the region. It has been a frequent subject of artists, particularly during the Renaissance and post-Renaissance eras.

Use of the word "rape" comes from the conventional translation of the Latin word used in the ancient accounts of the incident: raptio. Modern scholars tend to interpret the word as "abduction" as opposed to (sexual) violation. Controversy remains, however, as to how the acts committed against the women should be judged.

The Rape occurred in the early history of Rome, shortly after its founding by Romulus and his mostly male followers. Seeking wives in order to establish families, the Romans negotiated unsuccessfully with the Sabines, who populated the surrounding area. The Sabines feared the emergence of a rival society and refused to allow their women to marry the Romans. Consequently, the Romans planned to abduct Sabine women during a festival of Neptune Equester. They planned and announced a marvelous festival to attract people from all nearby towns. According to Livy, many people from Rome's neighboring towns attended, including folk from the Caeninenses, Crustumini, and Antemnates, and many of the Sabines. At the festival, Romulus gave a signal, at which the Romans grabbed the Sabine women and fought off the Sabine men. The indignant abductees were soon implored by Romulus to accept Roman husbands. More on Rape of the Sabine Women

Pietro da Cortona (1 November 1596/7 – 16 May 1669) was born Pietro Berrettini, but is primarily known by the name of his native town of Cortona in Tuscany. He was the leading Italian Baroque painter of his time and, along with his contemporaries and rivals Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Francesco Borromini, was one of the key figures in the emergence of Roman Baroque architecture. He was also an important designer of interior decorations.
Cortona worked mainly in Rome and Florence. He is best known for his frescoed ceilings such as the vault of the salone or main salon of the Palazzo Barberini in Rome and carried out extensive painting and decorative schemes for the Medici family in Florence and for the Oratorian fathers at the church of Santa Maria in Vallicella in Rome. He also painted numerous canvases. Only a limited number of his architectural projects were built but nonetheless they are as distinctive and as inventive as those of his rivals. More on Pietro da Cortona






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