Rape of the Sabine Women



Citation: Corona, Pietro Da. Rape of the Sabine Women. 1627-1629. http://library.artstor.org.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu:2048/asset/SS36847_36847_34553644. Web. 11 Dec 2017.

This painting belongs to the Baroque period. It stands out for its theatrical characteristics, the use of colors and light. The painting represents a Roman legend where the men of Rome committed a massive kidnapping of young women from other cities in the region.

Quote: ”The joyful peace, which put an abrupt close to such a deplorable war, made the Sabine women still dearer to their husbands and fathers, and most of all to Romulus himself.”

The quote of the reading differs with the painting because the painting represents the precise moment in which the attack was being committed, while the quote talks about the moment in which the war was over and the consequences that it brought. It is said that women were more valued by their male relatives after what happened. Finally in the painting you can see how the artist represents the violence of the act. On the other hand the quote talks about peace and a moment of tranquility after the event ended.

Jamilex Dominguez. Team Mercury.




David’s Message

Intervention of the Sabine Women, painted by Jacques-Louis David

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Jacques-Louis David (French painter, 1748-1825). Intervention of the Sabine Women, Detail, Romulus, the king of Rome with youth in Phrygian cap and horses. 1799 (creation), Image: 4/31/09 (creation). http://library.artstor.org/asset/SS36066_36066_23794138. Web. 8 Dec 2017.

This painting is similar to a painting we learned in Professor Simon’s class, which is also by Jacques-Louis David. It is called “The Death of Marat”, a revolutionary painting created during the French Revolution, which depicts a contemporary event. It is especially revolutionary because it substitutes the iconography (symbolic forms) of Christian Art for more contemporary issues, and before this David mostly painted scenes from classical antiquity. In the Death of Marat, David’s slain friend is shown as a martyr and hero of the revolution and not of Christianity.

This painting of the Sabine Women relates to the painting of Marat because the story of the Sabine Women is used to advocate the reconciliation of the French people after the French Revolution. After the second year of the revolution, Revolutionaries had begun to turn on each other and behead one another, so this painting was a means of reconciliation, as it shows the Sabine Women intervening and bringing the violet war to a halt so that the Sabines and Romans could reconcile.

From Vergil’s Aeneid, Book 1,”Then it was that the Sabine women, whose wrongs had led to the war, throwing off all womanish fears in their distress, went boldly into the midst of the flying missiles with disheveled hair and rent garments.”

In both the image and the literary version, we see the Sabine Women amidst the chaos of the war, as the quote says. Between all the spears, horses, and armed men, we see women, with so much determination on their faces, similar to the quote’s statement that the women had thrown off their fears. As the description says, “Hersilia is leaping between her father Tatius, the king of the Sabines, on the left, and her husband Romulus, the king of Rome, on the right.” As the quote says, the women intervened to tell the Sabines they were fine with their new Roman lives and husbands.

Jacques-Louis David depicted the episode of the Sabine Women intervening because he wanted the French to reconcile with one another. He wanted the people of France to see the intervention of the Sabine as a “pictorial manifesto” and what he did was, he made his painting appear less Roman and more Greek, so as to make his painting appear less severe, and more ideal and kind.

This was the most important purpose of his painting, and this also the most important message received in the text. The Sabine Women boldly intervened to stop the violence of the war and that’s what David wanted the French revolutionaries to understand.

Isra, Team Minerva