The greatest French baroque sculptor, Puget, created this model for a monumental marble group to stand in the gardens of the royal chateau at Versailles. Although many variants and copies have been made of this piece, this bronze appears to be the only seventeenth-century cast, probably made under Puget's supervision in Toulon in the south of France.
Artist Pierre Puget, French, 1620-1694
  • The Abduction of Helen
  • Le ravissement d'Helene
Date 1683-1686
Medium bronze
Dimensions Overall: 38 1/4 × 19 × 16 15/16 inches (97.2 × 48.3 × 43 cm)
Mount (pedestal): 38 1/8 × 19 13/16 × 19 13/16 inches (96.8 × 50.3 × 50.3 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Allan Shelden III Fund
Accession Number 79.21
Department European Sculpture and Dec Arts
On View European: Poussin, Level 2 (see map)
Marc Bauraud (Paris, France)

Herding, K. Pierre Puget, das Bildnerische Werk. Berlin, 1970, pp. 182-183.

Walton, Guy. "The Abduction of Helen of Troy: a 17th-Century French Bronze." Bulletin of the DIA 61, nos. 1-2 (1983): 30-37 (ill.).

Pierre Puget: Peintre, Sculpteur, Architecte 1620-1694. Exh. cat., Centre de la Vieille Charité. Marseilles, 1994/95, pp. 152-55, no. 53.

Pierre Puget: Un Artista Francese E La Cultura Barocca a Genova. Exh. cat., Palazzo Ducale. Genoa, 1995, pp. 146-49, no. 18 (entry by A.P. Darr).

Darr, A. P. “From Marseilles to Detroit : Two French Sculptures Attributed to Puget and Veyrier.” In Studi in Onore di Andrew S. Ciechanowiecki. Antologia di Belle Arti. Torino, 1994, nos. 48-51, pp. 42-52.

Walton, G. Commemorating Pierre Puget: Marseilles and Genoa 1995. Gazette des Beaux Arts CXXV (Mai-Juin 1995): 323-334.

Bronzes Français de la Renaissance au Siècle des Lumières. Exh. cat., Musée du Louvre. Paris, 2008, pp. 242-245 (color ill.).

Bober, Jonathan, Piero Boccardo, and Franco Boggero. A Superb Baroque: Art in Genoa 1600-1750. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington. Princeton and Oxford, 2020, pp. 272-273, cat. no. 90, (ill.).