View 1 of Lot 179. The abduction of the Venetian wives.
View 1 of Lot 179. The abduction of the Venetian wives.
179

Giovanni Darif

The abduction of the Venetian wives

Estimate:

8,000 - 12,000 GBP

Giovanni Darif

Giovanni Darif

The abduction of the Venetian wives

The abduction of the Venetian wives

Estimate:

8,000 - 12,000 GBP

Giovanni Darif

Venice 1801 - 1871 Milan

The abduction of the Venetian wives


oil on canvas, unlined

unframed: 27.7 x 38.7 cm.; 10 7/8 x 15 1/4 in.

framed: 40.5 x 51.6 cm.; 16 x 20 3/8 in.

This canvas is a modello for the finished painting by Darif which he exhibited in Brera in 1829, of which the location is now unknown. A signed preparatory watercolour also exists, which was offered at Bertolami Fine Art, Rome, 9 May 2019, lot 8.


The subject matter is based on a legend which recounts that on the same day every year all the maidens and young men of Venice were gathered in the church of San Pietro in Castello. The men then chose their future bride following which a huge ceremony took place to marry all the couples, presided over by the Bishop. On 31 January 944 A.D., a band of pirates from Trieste burst into the church, kidnapped the women and seized all of the riches that had been offered by the future spouses.