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The Rape of the Sabines, 1948

Alan Wheatley Art

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Oil on canvas
63.5 x 76.5 cm
Signed and dated


Provenance:
Redfern Gallery, London.
Sale; Christie's, London, 30 May 1997, lot 8 (as Rape of the Sabines).
Jonathan Clark & Co, London.
Private collection, U.K. (purchased from the above in c.2000)

Literature:
Mel GOODING. Ceri Richards, Cameron & Hollis, Dumfries & Galloway, 2002, p.84 ,ill.

 

Additional information:
According to mythology, the men of early Rome were sent out from the city by Romulus to seek women for abduction (the classical translation of the term rape) from the surrounding areas, in which the Sabine people dwelled, with the aim of swelling the city's population. The tale proved a popular subject material for Renaissance and post-Renaissance era artists, including Rubens whose painting The Rape of the Sabine Women hangs in London's National Gallery. Richards found this painting, and other such example, to be a fruitful point of inspiration. In a relatively narrow window he produced hundreds of drawings, several monoprints and a handful of paintings on the theme. Mel Gooding comments that 'It is in his treatment of the Sabine theme that Richards shows himself capable of figurative description in a great variety of moods and manners, from the lyrical to the dramatic, from the harshly brutal to the tenderly poignant.

(Mel Gooding, Ceri Richards, Cameron & Hollis, Dumfries & Galloway, 2002, p.83).