The Rape of the Sabines
Executed in three sections on six sheets of paper, this monumental woodcut depicts the ancient legend of the abduction of the Sabine women by the men of Rome. Upon finding the city bereft of women, Rome’s founder, Romulus, invited the neighboring peoples to a festival as a pretense to the abduction. Each Roman youth carried off an unmarried woman from the Sabine contingent as his bride. When the Sabines later attacked Rome, the women ran onto the battlefield and secured peace between their fathers and husbands.Andreani, who was alone in reviving the technique of the chiaroscuro print at the end of the sixteenth century, created a number of ambitious works. This spectacular woodcut reproduces, to scale but with slight adjustments, the plaque that was intended to clarify the subject of Giambologna's celebrated marble group in the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence which had been unveiled in Florence in 1583 to public acclaim.
Andrea Andreani (Mantua, 1558/1559–1629)