Nicolas Poussin (French, 1594–1665)
Oil on canvas
60 7/8 x 82 5/8 in. (154.6 x 209.9 cm)
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1946 (46.160)
The first Romans invited the neighboring Sabines to Rome with the intention of forcibly retaining their young women as wives. Romulus raised his cloak as the prearranged signal for the warriors to seize the women. The mother, her babies, and an old woman in the foreground were captured accidentally in the turmoil. The yellow armor worn by the man at the right is modeled after a Roman "lorica," which was made of leather and reproduced the anatomy of the male torso. The painting belonged to the maréchal de Créquy and seems to date about June 1633 to July 1634, when he was French ambassador to Rome.