Discover all 14 City of Paris museums

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Dirck Van Delen - A scene of gallantry in a palace
David Teniers the Younger - Smokers
Jan Steen - The Little Alms Collector
 Claude Gellée, known as Claude Lorrain - Landscape with the Port of Santa Marinella
Petrus Paulus Rubens - The Abduction of Proserpina
Adriaen Van Ostade - The Analysis
Jacob Jordaens - Diana Resting
 Rembrandt - Self-portrait in Oriental Attire
Meindert Hobbema - The Water Mills
Nicolas de Largillierre - Red-legged partridge in a niche
Henri Mauperché - Composite Landscape
Frans Van Mieris, known as Mieris the Elder - The interrupted song
Nicolas Poussin - The Massacre of the Innocents
Abraham de Vries - Portrait of a man

The Abduction of Proserpina

Petrus Paulus
Siegen (Westphalie), 1577 - Antwerp, 1640
Circa 1614-1615
Oil on wooden panel
38 x 67 cm

This study for a large-scale painting that once belonged in England in the collections of the Duke of Marlborough at Blenheim Castle, and was destroyed in a fire that ravaged a wing of this castle in 1861, depicts the abduction of Proserpina.

Following a plot by Venus, Pluto fell in love with Proserpina, the daughter of Ceres and Jupiter, and abducted her.

Rubens depicts the brutality and rapidity of the action wonderfully. Pluto’s gesture, forcefully embracing Proserpina’s body, merges the two figures in a single luminous diagonal in opposition to the dark diagonal formed by Minerva, who is trying to prevent the kidnapping.

Rubens put all his technique into the depiction of this act of violence. On a saffron yellow base, he painted using a cursive stroke with the tip of his brush, and his oil painting technique kept all the graphic qualities of watercolour techniques and even drawing techniques.

> See the digital video made especially for the exhibition Revelations - A digital odyssey in painting, Petit Palais, 18 september to 17 october 2010.

Inventory number: 
Inventory number : PDUT00954
Acquisition details : Dutuit bequest, 1902
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