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

Not On View

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.