Mythological Scene with the Rape of Proserpine

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 dates
1634 - 1705
Full title
Mythological Scene with the Rape of Proserpine
Date made
early 1680s
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
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
Location in Gallery

Other paintings in the group: Modelli for the Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence