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The Abduction of the Sabine Women

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.




Luca Giordano
Italian, 1632-1705

About this artwork

Perhaps the most acclaimed and well-traveled artist in Italy at the end of the 17th century, Luca Giordano first emulated, then transformed the styles of numerous celebrated artists, including Peter Paul Rubens, whose work is on view in galleries nearby. Giordano’s artistic studies informed this monumental depiction of the myth of the founding of Rome. The Romans, plagued by a shortage of brides, invited the neighboring Sabines to a festival and then violently kidnapped their young women. Using the rapid, bold brushwork that earned him the nickname Luca fa presto (Luca paints quickly), Giordano wove vivid gestures and compositional inspiration from earlier treatments of the subject into one of his most theatrical and geometrically complex works.


On View, Gallery 211


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Luca Giordano


The Abduction of the Sabine Women


Italy (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on canvas


260 × 295 cm (102 × 116 in.)

Credit Line

Major Acquisitions Centennial Endowment; Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection

Reference Number


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