The Abduction of Proserpina


Simon Troger

Haidhausen (today part of Munich), between 1750 and 1760

Ivory, snakewood, glass, copper, gilded

H. 85.3 cm

From Schleissheim Palace

Inv. No. R 4999

Gallery 100

Sculpture, Ivory

Baroque and Rococo


The beautiful Proserpina, daughter of Jupiter and Ceres, was abducted to the underworld by Pluto because her mother refused consent to her marriage. She, however, did manage to persuade him to allow Proserpina to leave the underworld, his realm, for at least six months of the year. The triumphant depiction belongs to the eight groups that Simon Troger executed for Elector Max III Joseph for the Great Gallery of Schleissheim Palace. There they were placed opposite the masterpieces of Baroque painting. The lavish use of ivory and exotic wood is evidence that the group was a product of courtly luxury. The composition of Pluto and Proserpina is based on Gian Lorenzo Bernini's famous marble sculpture in Rome (Galleria Borghese).

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