Castor and Pollux seizing the daughters of Leucippus

(1618; Munich, Alte Pinakothek)
   Mythological scene painted by Peter Paul Rubens depicting the twin sons of Jupiter and Leda abducting the daughters of Leucippus, whom they later marry. The work utilizes an unusual rhomboidal composition that holds together effectively the two horses, two males, two females, the putto, and the fluttering draperies. The female figure with her bent leg was modeled after Michelangelo's lost Leda and the Swan,an appropriate reference to the birth of Castor and Pollux resulting from this union. Some see the painting as an allegory of marriage, as the women are willing participants in an abduction that ultimately results in nuptials. Others see it as a political allegory that speaks of Spain's seizure of Antwerp and Amsterdam to raise them to a higher, more prosperous level.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Rubens, Peter Paul — (1577 1640)    Peter Paul Rubens was born in Seigen where his father was exiled. When Rubens was a year old, the exile was lifted and the family went to Cologne. Rubens father died in 1589, and his mother, Maria Pijpelinckx, moved with her… …   Dictionary of Renaissance art

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