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Mythological Scene with the Rape of Proserpine
Luca Giordano

At the right Pluto, god of the underworld, is carrying off Proserpine, daughter of Ceres. The three-headed dog Cerberus guards the entrance to Hades and the boat of Charon waits to take souls across the River Styx. In the background the giants who challenged the gods of Olympus suffer their eternal tortures.

This painting is one of a group of 10 'modelli' or elaborated oil studies made in preparation for the fresco projects that Giordano created for the Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence. On the ceiling of the Galleria, this scene adjoins the 'Mythological Scene of Agriculture'.

Key facts
Artist Luca Giordano
Artist dates 1634 - 1705
Full title Mythological Scene with the Rape of Proserpine
Group Modelli for the Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence
Date made early 1680s
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 121.6 x 193 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by the Trustees of Sir Denis Mahon's Charitable Trust through the Art Fund, 2013
Inventory number NG6639
Location in Gallery Room 40
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Modelli for the Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence

This group of 10 modelli, or elaborated oil studies, was made in preparation for the fresco projects that Giordano undertook in the Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence between 1682 and 1685.

Nine are associated with the ceiling of the Galleria and one, the 'Allegory of Divine Wisdom', is for the ceiling of the adjacent Library.