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Apollonio di Giovanni (c.1416 - 1465 (?1403 - after 1480)):
The Rape of the Sabine Women

A92; tempera (?) and gilding on panel, trimmed on all sides and cut down on the left; 38.2 x 60.3 cm.

Presented by William Thomas Horner Fox-Strangways , later 4th Earl of Ilchester, 1850; WA1850.30.

Lloyd 1977, pp. 10-11; Filippini 1992, pp. 233, 236.

Probably a fragment from the right-hand side of a cassone front, this panel may represent Romulus, king of Rome about to order the abduction of the Sabine women while they are attending the games in honour of Neptune. This act and its consequences as narrated by Livy (Ab Urbe condita I, 9-13) was seen by Renaissance commentators as leading to the institution of marriage in ancient Rome, thus the scene was appropriate for wedding celebrations.

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Information derived from the Ashmolean Museum's Complete Illustrated Catalogue of Paintings.

Link to the BBC's Your Paintings page of the Public Catalogue Foundation