Rape of a Sabine

Bronze sculpture of a male figure, abducting a female figure, with a cowering male figure at his feet.

Antonio Susini (Florence 1558–1624 Florence)
Rape of a Sabine
After Giambologna’s marble group of 1583, cast ca. 1585
23 1/4 in. (59 cm)


Giambologna’s monumental marble Rape of a Sabine (Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence) features three intertwined figures that allow no single dominant viewpoint. He claimed that he had created it solely to “demonstrate the excellence of his art,” and it was, in fact, immediately celebrated as his crowning achievement. Bronze reductions, such as this early example from the master’s workshop, spread the statue’s fame. Giambologna invented this unprecedented figure group by fashioning small wax and clay models that he rotated on his work stand to judge the composition from every angle.