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Boreas, the icy North Wind, carried off the beautiful Orithyia to be his wife (Ovid, 'Metamorphoses' VI, 692–715). This oil sketch is a study for one of the handmaids in Solimena's composition of 'The Rape of Orithyia'. He made two versions of the subject and the figure is identical in both: the first, of 1700–1701 for Fabrizio Spada Veralli (Galleria Spada, Rome), and the second of 1728–1729, an Imperial commission (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna).

The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology



oil on paper


H 26.4 x W 24.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Purchased, 1937

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The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology

Beaumont Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 2PH England

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