Rape of the Sabine Women

1963
Pablo Picasso (Spanish (worked in France), 1881–1973)


Dimensions

195.3 x 131.1 cm (76 7/8 x 51 5/8 in.)

Accession Number

64.709

Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas

On View

Saundra B. and William H. Lane Galleries (Gallery 328)

Collections

Contemporary Art, Europe

Classifications

Paintings

Painted when he was eighty-two, this is Picasso’s last major statement about the horrors of war, perhaps inspired by the Cuban missile crisis. Here, Picasso transforms a familiar subject from the art of the past-the story of early Romans who, suffering a shortage of marriageable women, invited the neighboring Sabines to Rome and then carried off all their young women. Against a sunny background of blue sky and green fields, the overlapping forms of grotesquely distorted figures are compressed into the foreground space, the horses and soldiers trampling a woman and her child.

Inscription

Upper right: Picasso; Reverse: 4.1.63. / 10. / 11. / 12. / 13. / 14. / 15. / 16. / 17. / 18. / 19. / 20. / 21. / 22. / 23. / 25. / 26. / 28. / 29. / 31. / 2.2.63. / 7. (in irregular columns)

Provenance

Probably sold by the artist to the Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris [see note 1]; 1964, sold by the Galerie Leiris to M. Knoedler and Co., New York (stock no. A8624); 1964, sold by Knoedler to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 13, 1964)

NOTES:
[1] It was included in the exhibition "Picasso Peintures 1962-1963" (Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris, January 15 - February 15, 1964), cat. no. 17.

Credit Line

Juliana Cheney Edwards Collection, Tompkins Collection—Arthur Gordon Tompkins Fund, and Fanny P. Mason Fund in memory of Alice Thevin

Copyright

© 2011 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.