(b. 1594, Les Andelys, d. 1665, Roma)
The Rape of the Sabine Women (detail)1637-38
Oil on canvas
Musée du Louvre, Paris
The turbulent scene plays out in front of the viewer as if on a stage: from his elevated position on the left, Romulus gives the pre-arranged signal to his companions to seize and carry off the virgins amongst the Sabines, who had been invited to attend a festival organized by the Romans. On the square below, his signal sparks a rotary motion amongst the figures, who are rushing away from the centre in all directions.