Poussin – “The Rape of the Sabine Women”

According to Roman historians, only men lived in Rome. The neighboring tribes did not want to give their daughters to the ordinary poor. Then one of the founders of Rome – the legendary Romulus, comes up with a cunning plan. He arranges a grandiose celebration and invites the Sabines to it. They accept the invitation and come to the city with their families and daughters. Then the Roman inhabitants pounced on the guests, and taking advantage of their disarmament, began to kidnap young girls. After that, a war began, which lasted for many years.

The Sabines broke into Rome under the command of King Tatius. This led to the fact that the Romans began to lose, and soon fled. Then Romulus began to appeal to the gods to help bring the fugitives back. At that moment, Roman women, who had already managed to fall in love with their husbands and give birth to children, rushed to the battlefield and began to beg to stop the war. Thus, the Sabine women put an end to the enmity, as the tribes finally united and began to live in a single state. Ordinary women saved the ancient city and prevented the death of thousands of men.

Nicolas Poussin was well versed in ancient art and was a great connoisseur of history. The artist was a representative of classicism. This dynamic painting depicting a historic moment was painted by him for Cardinal Omodey, who was a true collector and connoisseur of unique paintings. In the plot of the picture, the talented artist perfectly expressed the anger and rage of what is happening, where an imminent declaration of war is anticipated. The canvas depicts Romulus watching as the Romans kidnap girls and take them from their families. This work is in the Louvre and is a fine example of seventeenth century painting.

Year of painting: 1638.

Dimensions of the painting: 206 x 159 cm.

Material: canvas.

Writing technique: oil.

Genre: mythological painting.

Style: classicism.

Gallery: Louvre, Paris, France.

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