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Figure Group of an Abduction of Women

Melchior Barthel1670 - 1672

Green Vault, Dresden State Art Museums

Green Vault, Dresden State Art Museums
Dresden, Germany

Melchior Barthel's dynamic portrayal of an "Abduction of Women" goes back to a marble group by Giambologna in Florence's "Loggia dei Lanzi". But the adaption of the motif is more than a mere literal repetition of an exemplary artwork. Thanks to slight alterations to the postures and mild changes in the theatrical gestures of his three-person group, Barthel managed to produce a discriminating tension. The result was a commendable to a princely collector. This ivory group was possibly begun in Venice but completed in Dresden. Only two years after being hired as court sculptor Barthel died in his hometown.

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