This colossal marble group of 'The Rape of a Sabine Woman' is an over-life-size copy of Giambologna's original created between 1581 and 1583 and today preserved in the Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence. The group was universally celebrated and as a result copies and reductions have been created ever since. To Giambologna it was a group which allowed him to demonstrate his skills of composition, a group that could be viewed from virtually every angle and was astonishing in its use of complex spiraling forms.
The rape of the Sabine women was a popular subject in art, particularly in the Renaissance period, because it gave artists the opportunity to depict complex scenes with numerous figures in action. It recalls the story, recounted by Livy and Plutarch, of the early days of Rome when, to ensure the survival of the community, Romulus organized a festival to which he invited inhabitants of neighboring settlements including the Sabines. At a pre-arranged signal the Roman soldiers carried off the unmarried Sabine women. Although the Sabine men were later to attack Rome for this treachery, the Sabine women themselves came running to the scene of battle, many holding their new-born children, begging the two sides to call a truce and thus establishing peace.
The skill of an accomplished sculptor is clearly evident in the scale and quality of this group. However little is known of Bruno Neri other than that he exhibited at the Societa della Bella Arti in Florence in 1912 and at the Venice Biennale in 1920 (A. Panzetta, Dizionario Degli Scultori Italiani Dell'Ottocento, Turin, 2003, vol. II, p. 650).