Pio Fedi’s The Rape Of Polyxena: A Greek Legendary Scene In Nineteenth-Century Italian Sculpture

The Rape of Polyxena sculpture by Pio Fedi is a 19th-century Italian sculptural masterpiece. It depicts a dramatic incident from Greek mythology in which the Trojan prince Achilles slays the Trojan princess Polyxena to revenge his friend Patroclus’ death.

The sculpture is about 3 meters tall and made of marble. It was completed in 1865 and is now housed in Florence, Italy’s Loggia dei Lanzi, where it is one of the most famous sculptures on display.

Fedi’s sculpture is renowned for its extremely emotional and dynamic composition, which effectively captures the moment of Polyxena’s death. Achilles and Polyxena are seen in a twisted and distorted stance, with Polyxena’s body falling backward and Achilles reaching out to grab her hair.

The sculpture has been praised for its skillful execution and attention to detail, as well as its compelling portrayal of Greek mythology’s terrible events. It is regarded as one of the best works of Italian sculpture of the nineteenth century and is still enjoyed by tourists to the Loggia dei Lanzi today.

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