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Large bronze group with brown patina representing the kidnapping of Hippodamia by the centaur Pyloüs after the work of Carrier-Belleuse and Auguste Rodin.
Old cast iron, late nineteenth early twentieth century.

This group is very often called, wrongly: the kidnapping of Deanire by the centaur Nessus. Although close, the two works are still very different.

This episode is told in two ways, one in the odyssey of Homer and the other in the metamorphoses of Ovid. Even if the fate of Hippodamia differs, the two stories illustrate with this scene the misdeeds of alcohol.

In the odyssey:
At the wedding of Pirithoos with Hippodamia, the drunk centaurs, led by Eurytion and Pyloüs, abduct and abuse the young wife. Pirithoos pursues them, assisted by Theseus, then after terrible battles defeats them.

In the metamorphoses of Ovid:
The centaurs tried in vain to kidnap Hippodamia, the young wife of the King of the Lapiths, the peaceful people of Thessaly.
Here too, a war broke out, in which Theseus also took part. Another famous work represents an episode: Theseus fighting the centaur Bienor de Barye.

Let’s go back to the Hippodamia kidnapping.
This sculpture is documented for the first time in 1871 through its terracotta version.
Auguste Rodin, who entered Carrier Belleuse’s workshop in 1864 as a practitioner until 1871, may have been the author.
Moreover, June Ellen Hargrove (art historian) demonstrated that the body of the centaur, whose musculature undulates boldly, is characteristic of Rodin’s models.
Other scholars have also claimed that Hippodamia’s abduction from Carrier-Belleuse was partly modelled by Auguste Rodin.
Indeed, from 1864 to 1871, Rodin worked in Carrier-Belleuse’s workshop in Brussels and this model was apparently designed at the end of his stay in Belgium.
Indeed, in the contrast between the voluptuousness of the naked female body and the hardness of the features of the centaur, we can distinguish the two approaches of the sculptors, the romanticism of Carrier-Belleuse, and the brute force of Rodin. The anatomical treatment of the main character is similar to the bruised men of the Titans Vase. This bronze is part of the collections of the National Gallery in Washington where it is presented with a possible participation of Auguste Rodin, then student of Carrier-Belleuse.



- June Hargrove, The Life and Work of Albert Carrier-Belleuse, New York and London,1977, pp. 257-8, illustrated pl. 244

- P. Fusco and H. Janson, The Romantics to Rodin, cat. exh., Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1980, pp.164–6, no. 50

- Carrier-Belleuse, The Master of Rodin, cat. exh., Grand Palais de Compiègne, May 22-27, 2014, illustrated fig. 27.

- In the catalogue Des Romantiques à Rodin by Fusco and Janson, published in 1980 by the Los Angeles county museum of art.


Very good state of preservation, small traces of oxidation at the base.


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The kidnapping of Hippodamia, big bronze after Carrier-Belleuse and Rodin


    Height: 19 inches

    Width: 17 inches
    Depth: 10,2 inches


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