Rape of Proserpina of Bernini
The Rape of Proserpina is a marble sculpture of the Italian Baroque sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini. It represents the rapture of Proserpina by Pluto or Hades. It is a sculpture in the round exerted with so masterfully that he really seem to be catching the woman.
It has zigzag movement, which is characteristic of the baroque sculptures. There is a twisted contrapposto, and the faces of the characters are very expressive. But the most impressive is that Proserpina pushes Pluto’s head stretching his skin, and his fingers tightened cruelly Proserpina’s skin trying to immobilize her.
The myth of the Rape of Proserpina says so: Cupid throws an arrow at Pluto and he falls in love with Proserpina and he rapes her. Her mother is Ceres, the goddess of fertility. When she finally finds her daughter, she had eaten of the Underworld Granada, so she was forced to spend time in there. So, about three months she spends time with Pluto in the Underworld, and those three months, Ceres ceases to give life to the earth. So winter is explained.
Bernini is a Roman man. He has a tendency to naturalism without idealizing. The sculptures have a clear didactic function language, where the Virgin and the Saints prevail. Figures have a desire to free movement, unstable composition, and a imbalance marked by violent lights and the presence of “speakers cloths” (paños parlantes), cloths with expressive value, predominantly diagonal.
In Baroque sculpture is broken the Michelangelesque balance. Baroque sculpture is subordinate to architecture, seeking the picturesque effect of the whole. Contributes to encourage architectural aesthetics, with plans and clothes that move with the resulting lighting effects. It is what is called integration of arts.
The term Baroque is not known exactly where it comes from, but it defines the opposition to classical art. The XVII century is the century of its spread throughout Europe. The XVIII century is partly baroque, partly rococo, which is heavily charged. It all started in Rome, Italy, and came to Latin America. At the Council of Trent used the arts to close more and levied upon the Protestants.
In conclusion, the Rape of Proserpina is one of the most impressive sculptures of history of art. Details of Pluto taking Proserpina are simply fabulous, add much realism and leaves you with an overwhelming feeling.
This sculpture is in the Galleria Borghese in Rome, Italy.