Il rapimento delle Sabine (1675-1680)

Giordano, Luca (1634-1705)

Il rapimento delle Sabine (The Abduction of the Sabine Women)
Oil on canvas, 260 × 295 cm
Art Institute of ChicagoChicago

Perhaps the most acclaimed and well-traveled artist in Italy at the end of the 17th century, Luca Giordano first emulated, then transformed the styles of numerous celebrated artists, including Peter Paul Rubens, whose work is on view in galleries nearby. Giordano’s artistic studies informed this monumental depiction of the myth of the founding of Rome. The Romans, plagued by a shortage of brides, invited the neighboring Sabines to a festival and then violently kidnapped their young women. Using the rapid, bold brushwork that earned him the nickname Luca fa presto (Luca paints quickly), Giordano wove vivid gestures and compositional inspiration from earlier treatments of the subject into one of his most theatrical and geometrically complex works. (AIC)