Not currently on display at the V&A

Pluto and Proserpine

Relief
1849 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

In classical mythology Proserpine was the daughter of Ceres, the goddess of agriculture. Proserpine had been collecting flowers with her female companions when Pluto, the god of the underworld, fell in love with her and seized her while she was collecting flowers with her female companions. Pluto – struck by Cupid’s arrow – carries Proserpine to the underworld where she becomes his wife.

Physick, active in the 19th century, won the Royal Academy Gold Medal in 1850 for a relief entitled The Rape of Proserpine, probably this piece. He later also exhibited the same work at the Great Exhibition of 1851. The energetic composition recalls the work of Giambologna, in particular his Rape of the Sabines, in the Piazza della Signora, in Florence, a figure group Physick would have known. He was working and studying in Italy at around 1850


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Cast plaster
Brief Description
Relief, cast plaster, Pluto and Proserpine, by Edward James Physick, Britain, 1849
Physical Description
This relief shows a group of four lightly draped figures, three female and one male. One female lies on the ground and another is being picked up by the male. There is a flying Cupid in the background.
Dimensions
  • Height: 124cm
  • Width: 107cm
  • Depth: 23cm
Style
Credit line
Presented by Belinda Physick in memory of her father, David Physick
Object history
Presented by Belinda Physick in memory of her father, David Physick, in 2005.
Subjects depicted
Summary
In classical mythology Proserpine was the daughter of Ceres, the goddess of agriculture. Proserpine had been collecting flowers with her female companions when Pluto, the god of the underworld, fell in love with her and seized her while she was collecting flowers with her female companions. Pluto – struck by Cupid’s arrow – carries Proserpine to the underworld where she becomes his wife.



Physick, active in the 19th century, won the Royal Academy Gold Medal in 1850 for a relief entitled The Rape of Proserpine, probably this piece. He later also exhibited the same work at the Great Exhibition of 1851. The energetic composition recalls the work of Giambologna, in particular his Rape of the Sabines, in the Piazza della Signora, in Florence, a figure group Physick would have known. He was working and studying in Italy at around 1850
Bibliographic Reference
Williamson, Paul, ‘Recent Acquisitions (2000-06) of sculpture at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London’, in: The Burlington Magazine, CXLVIII, December, 2006, p. 893, fig XIII
Collection
Accession Number
A.1-2005

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record createdFebruary 25, 2005
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