Wonders of Italy: Bernini’s Rape of Proserpina

Sep 13, 2021 318

The Rape of Proserpina is a masterpiece by the great Italian sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini, on view inside Rome’s Borghese Gallery.  It was commissioned by cardinal Scipione Borghese, a patron of the arts, and executed between 1621 and 1622. Bernini was only 23 years old when he executed the sculpture.  

The subject of the sculpture is taken from Ovid's Metamorphoses and refers to the theme of the cycle of seasons. Proserpina, daughter of Jupiter and Ceres, goddess of fertility, was kidnapped by Pluto, king of the underworld, who fell in love with her after seeing her picking flowers. Distressed, Ceres left the fields to go look for her daughter, causing a famine; Jupiter intervened by finding an agreement: Proserpina would spend nine months with her mother, but she would have to spend the winter months in hell with her now-husband Pluto.  

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SOURCE: https://www.italymagazine.com

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