This is the story of the abduction of Ceres' daughter Proserpine by the Underworld god Pluto that led to Ceres' great and costly grief.
Rape of Persephone, by Luca Giordano. 1684-1686.
Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia.
The fifth book of the Metamorphoses begins with the story of Perseus' marriage to Andromeda. Phineus is angry that his fiancee has been carried off. Those involved felt he had forfeited his right to marry Andromeda when he failed to rescue her from the sea monster. To Phineus, however, it remained a wrong and this set the theme for another abduction, that of Proserpine (Persephone, in Greek) by the Underworld god who is sometimes shown emerging from a crack in the earth in his chariot. Proserpine was playing when taken. Her mother, the goddess of grain, Ceres (Demeter to the Greeks) laments her loss and is driven to despair not knowing what has happened to her daughter.
This picture shows the nymphs with whom Proserpine was playing. A man dressed as Hercules in a lion skin is on the left. Harpies fly overhead.
Luca Giordano (October 18, 1634 January 12, 1705) was a late Baroque Italian painter. He painted other mythological scenes: Neptune and Amphitrita, the Triumphal procession of Bacchus, the Death of Adonis, and Ceres and Triptolemus.