This work is based on the famous group The Rape of Proserpina by the master sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini, executed in 1621-1622 (Galleria Borghese, inv. no. CCLXVIII). Bernini's original group depicts the moment when Hades seizes the maiden before taking her to his shadowy abode in the Underworld, as told by Claudian (De raptu Proserpine) and Ovid (Metamorphoses, V, 385-424). Proserpina is shown struggling, her head thrown back in distress. The drama of the moment is encapsulated by the present representation, which renders Proserpina's terror and longing to remain in the world of the living.