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Rape of the Sabines by Jean de Boulogne

Plaster Cast of the Rape of the Sabines

Plaster Cast of the Rape of the Sabines

As one enters the Accademia Gallery, one will find the plaster cast model by Giambologna (as Jean de Boulogne, 1579–1583, is known in Italy) displayed central-stage in the Hall of the Colossus. From this model, Giambologna created the marble sculpture you can admire in Piazza della Signoria under the Loggia dei Lanzi.

The cast depicts three figures connected by a serpentine-shaped movement, with one man lifting a woman into the air while a second man crouches. The name of “The Rape of the Sabines”, was suggested by his contemporary Vincenzo Borghini. What impacts the observer the most is the fact that the whole group was carved from a single block of marble, and is acknowledged as Giambologna’s masterpiece.

The three figures are constructed on a vortex that invites the observer to move around the statue and offers infinite view points. Inspired by Michelangelo and by mannerist ideals, Giambologna became famous for the search of intertwined figural compositions and over ambitious inclusive efforts. His ability to sculpt bodies in the old classical style and splendid figures of naked women in seductive poses increased his fame at the end of the XVI century.