After Sir Peter Paul Rubens
The Abduction of the Daughters of Leucippus
Oil on canvas
40 x 30 inches (101.5 x 76.2 cm)
Private collection, Connecticut
The original of this work, painted in 1618, is in the Alte Pinakothek, Munich. The abduction of Hilaeira and Phoebe, the daughters of King Leucippus of Sparta by the twins Castor and Pollux, is described both by the Hellenistic poet Theocratis and the Roman poet Ovid. The young women had been betrothed to two other men, but the twins were determined to marry them instead. Despite the violence of this scene as imaged by Rubens, the story has an almost fairytale ending: the two couples were soon married, had exemplary children and lived "happily ever after."
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