BERTRAND, Philippe
(b. 1663, Paris, d. 1724, Paris)

The Rape of Helen

Musée du Château, Fontainebleau

In 1701 Bertrand became a member of the Académie on presentation of his small bronze Rape of Helen, which he subsequently showed at the Salon of 1704. From Giambologna's treatments of the theme of the Rape of a Sabine Woman, Bertrand took the device of making the apex of his groups an outstretched arm with gesticulating hand. But with him Helen hardly seems to resist the action of Paris, who moves with balletic ease. Such forcefulness as exists is restricted to the bent, toiling boatman, over whose bare back Helen seems coquettishly to dangle a slim foot.