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Large 19thc Italian Grand Tour Verde Prato Sculpture Of The ‘abduction Of The Sabine Women’ After The Original By Giambologna

Status: This item has been sold
Sold by: LVS Decorative Arts

This antique has been viewed 23 times in the past month with the most views from Canada.


A large late 19th century (circa 1870) Italian Grand Tour verde Prato sculpture of the ‘Abduction of the Sabine women’ after the original marble sculpture by Giambologna (1529-1608).
The figure depicts a Sabine woman captured by a Roman who stands over a Sabine man kneeling in defeat, sculpted in verde Prato stone standing on a square base supported on a turned circular column which can fully revolve when required.
The verde Prato serpentine stone has been quarried for centuries near to Prato, northwest of Florence in Italy and the stone is so named due to the resemblance to the skin of a serpent.
The ‘Abduction’ or ‘Rape of the Sabine women’ represented a dramatic ancient Roman incident where Roman men abducted women from the town of Sabine, the word ‘abduction’ in Latin is ‘rapito’ and in Italian ‘rapire’ meaning ‘to abduct’ – this possibly why the figure is sometimes referred to as the ‘Rape of the Sabine women’.
Giambologna, also known as Giovanni da Bologna and Jean Boulogne was one of the least known artists in the 16th century but his influence became extensive. He was born in Flanders in 1529 and arrived in Florence around 1552 and within a few years became Court sculptor for the Medici, having his own large workshop and being well known and respected for small and mid size bronzes and marble works and subsquently went on to create many other large works in Florence.

There was however an area he had not accomplished, that of monumental sculpture, and so set about to produce a sculpture of unprecedented craftsmanship.
The original sculpture was one of the most known works of 16th century Italy and located in the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence, was produced 1581-1583 from a single block of marble which was unprecedented for the time.

The three figures carved in twisting and contorting manner, all figures depicting movement, aggression and struggle as they move upward in a flame or twisting movement known as ‘figura serpentinata’ or serpentine figure, this popular with mannerist artists of the time.
The sculptor also did not provide just one view of the work, he wanted it to be viewed 360 degrees to attain the full dynamic image of the work, which is probably why this sculpture is supported by a revolving base.
According to the artist the sculpture can be interpreted as the ‘kidnapping of Helena or Proserpina or of Sabine women’, it was not named until placed in the Loggia dei Lanzi and the decision was made to name it the ‘Abduction’ or ‘Rape of the Sabine women’.
The sculptor also adding a bronze narrative relief depicting the story of the ‘Abduction of the Sabine women’ by the Romans placed in the base of the sculpture to clarify the subject to onlookers.
This sculpture is in good condition for age with minor losses and also some old repairs (it is not uncommon for serpentine items to have some damage or losses due to the fragility of the stone), it is of stable construction and can go straight into a home or collection.
Height: 66.5'' / 169cm (figure on base)
47'' / 119.5cm (figure only)
Width: 11.5'' / 29.25cm
Depth: 11.5'' / 29.25cm
LVS Decorative Arts is a family run business specialising in an eclectic mix of fine quality and decorative antiques from around the world.
Being members of LAPADA, the largest association for professional art and antiques dealers in the UK, we are committed in upholding the highest of standards.
All furniture is professionally restored to the highest of standards, using traditional methods by cabinet makers and polishers with a wealth of experience keeping the item in as original condition as possible and conserving original patina (colour) and materials whenever possible - we feel that quality restoration is paramount to the longevity of the piece.
Worldwide shipping available, please contact us for a free quote to include professional packing and fully insured services
Please note: viewing is 'By Appointment' only - please contact Liza a few days in advance to arrange
Payments are accepted by bank transfer or cheque
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Please contact Liza either by email or telephone 07703306451
Please bear in mind: antique items for sale may have some wear and marks commensurate with their age which adds to the character of the piece.
Thank you and we hope you find our stock interesting.
Internal Ref: LVS1227


This item is antique. The date of manufacture has been declared as 1870.


Height = 169 cm (66.5")
Width = 29.2 cm (11.5")
Depth = 29.2 cm (11.5")

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LVS Decorative Arts
United Kingdom

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