National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of The Rape of Proserpine Joseph Mallord William Turner (artist)
British, 1775 - 1851
The Rape of Proserpine, 1839
oil on canvas
overall: 92.6 x 123.7 cm (36 7/16 x 48 11/16 in.) framed: 124.1 x 154.9 x 10.1 cm (48 7/8 x 61 x 4 in.)
Gift of Mrs. Watson B. Dickerman
1951.18.1
Not on View
From the Tour: Constable and Turner — British Landscapes of the Early 1800s
Object 8 of 11

In classical mythology, Pluto, the god of the underworld, abducted the maiden Proserpine to make her his wife and the queen of Hades. Turner, in this entry from the 1839 Royal Academy exhibition, depicted the moment when Pluto’s fiery chariot erupts earthward, burning the meadow and terrifying Proserpine’s attendants. The setting, equally dramatic, is a fantasy based upon the hills, gorges, waterfalls, and ruins at Tivoli, an ancient village near Rome.

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