H: 14" Cold Cast Marble-like Resin
This small statuette is a reproduction of the "Rape of Proserpina" (Persephone), a large baroque marble sculptural group by Bernini executed between 1621 and 1622. Bernini was only 23 years old at its completion. It depicts Proserpina being seized and taken to the underworld by Pluto.
The twisted contrapposto or figura serpentinata pose is reminiscent of Mannerism, and allows the simultaneous depiction of the abduction (as seen from the left, with Pluto striding to grasp her), the arrival in the underworld (as seen from the front, he appears triumphantly bearing his trophy in his arms) and her prayer to her mother Ceres to return to the real world 6 months a year (as seen from the right, with Proserpina's tears, the wind blowing her hair, and Cerberus barking).
Pushing against Pluto's face, Proserpina's hand creases his skin, while his fingers sink into the flesh of his victim. Proserpina’s lips are slightly opened, as if she were screaming and begging for help. Upon closer examination, one notices the delicately crafted marble tears that look as though they are literally dripping down her face.
Bernini's principal patron Scipione Borghese funded it but then gave it to Cardinal Ludovisi in 1622, who took it to his villa. It remained there until 1908, when the Italian state purchased it and returned it to the Galleria Borghese.
(some information adapted from Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia)