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sculptor Giambologna sculpted a representation of this theme with three figures (a

man lifting a woman into the air while a second man crouches), carved from a single
block of marble. This sculpture is considered Giambologna's masterpiece[9]
Originally intended as nothing more than a demonstration of the artist's ability to
create a complex sculptural group, its subject matter, the legendary rape of the
Sabines, had to be invented after Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany,
decreed that it be put on public display in the Loggia dei Lanzi in Piazza della
Signoria, Florence.
The proposed site for the sculpture, opposite Benvenuto Cellini's statue of
Perseus, prompted suggestions that the group should illustrate a theme related to
the former work, such as the rape of Andromeda by Phineus. The respective rapes of
Proserpina and Helen were also mooted as possible themes. It was eventually decided
that the sculpture was to be identified as one of the Sabine virgins.
The work is signed OPVS IOANNIS. Bronze reductions of the sculpture, produced in
Giambologna's own studio and imitated by others, were a staple of connoisseurs'
collections into the 19th century.BOLONII FLANDRI MDLXXXII ("The work of Johannes
of Boulogne of Flanders, 1582"). An early preparatory bronze featuring only two
figures is in the Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte in Naples. Giambologna then
revised the scheme, this time with a third figure, in two wax models now in the
Victoria and Albert Museum, London. The artist's full-scale gesso for the finished
sculpture, executed in 1582, is on display at the Galleria dell'Accademia in
Florence.16th-century Italo-Fl