The Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus Painting Analysis

The Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus Painting Analysis

The painting represents the earthly Castor and the immortal Pollux kidnapping Leucippus of Messenia's daughters Phoebe and Hilaeira. 

The Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus analysis

The Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus Painting Analysis

The two distinct diagonals ascend from the painting's foundation, where the hostage and aggressor's feet are juxtaposed. The volumes rise from this point, harmoniously settling on given points of harmony, while the naked captives' bright white outlines juxtapose with their muscly attackers.

The four individuals and two horses are precisely positioned inside the picture plane, given the scene's ferocity, to produce a powerful but harmonious composition.

The figures, in particular, are intricately intertwined in a tangled but meticulously planned mass, containing all movement inside the group and amplifying its impact. The peacefulness of the magnificent blue sky and rolling terrain in the background adds to the intense action.

What happened to Leucippus' daughters?

King Leucippus' two daughters were engaged to a pair of twins who were cousins of Castor and Pollux. The latter pair, on the other hand, brought the princesses away. 

Armed warriors may be seen capturing the nude ladies and transporting them on horseback.


What is the meaning of leucippus?

"Solid and empty", both the emptiness and the concrete elements within it are supposed to be endless, and the components of everything are believed to be made.   

The Leucippides are kidnapped by the Dioscuri

Rubens' life-size painting depicts the fabled story of King Leucippus of Argos' daughters being abducted by the twin brothers Castor and Pollux (Polydeuces), collectively known as the Dioscuri, as told by the poets Theocritus and Ovid. 

These siblings had the same mother, Leda, but separate dads, according to legend: Castor was the worldly son of Tyndareus, King of Sparta, whereas Pollux was the heavenly son of Zeus, who charmed Leda in the form of a swan.

The siblings were dead set on marrying Leucippus' daughters, Hilaeira and Phoebe.

However, they were previously promised to Lynceus and Idas of Thebes, sons of Tyndareus's brother Aphareus. So, to carry out their will, Castor and Pollux abducted the two ladies and transported them to Sparta, where they wedded and had sons.

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