14 Works, July 22nd. is Orazio de Ferrari’s day, his story, illustrated with footnotes #199

Orazio De Ferrari
The rape of the Sabine women, c. 1640

Oil on canvas
Height: 180 cm, Width: 244 cm
Private collection

The Rape of the Sabine Women is an episode in the legendary history of Rome, traditionally dated to 750 BC, in which the first generation of Roman men acquired wives for themselves from the neighboring Sabine families. The English word rape is a conventional translation of the Latin raptio, which in this context means “abduction” rather than its prevalent modern meaning in English language of sexual violation. The story provided a subject for Renaissance and post-Renaissance works of art that combined a suitably inspiring example of the hardihood and courage of ancient Romans with the opportunity to depict multiple figures, including heroically semi-nude figures, in intensely passionate struggle. More on the rape of the Sabine women

The work constitutes a very relevant testimony of Orazio De Ferrari’s production, both for its undoubted executive quality, and for the presence of the painter’s monogram combined with the date 1640, an element which allows us to have a precise chronological reference not only for the dating of the canvas itself, but more generally for the reconstruction of the artist’s mature production. Recently considered “a masterpiece of great scenic impact and coloristic exuberance, reminiscent of Rubens and Van Dyck”, the composition emerges, in the context of the “profane” production by Orazio De Ferrari, destined to embellish the paintings of the Genoese nobility, for its theatricality the layout of the episode, linked to the foundation of Rome. More on this painting

Orazio de Ferrari (1606–1657) was an Italian artist, active in the Baroque period, born in Voltri, a suburb of Genoa. de Ferrari was a pupil of Giovanni Andrea Ansaldo. He was a member of the family of Genoese artists, with surnames de Ferrari, which also included Giovanni Andrea de Ferrari and Gregorio De Ferrari. During the 17th century, he painted murals in the chapel and many of the state rooms of the Royal Palace in Monaco…

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