Peter Paul Rubens' "Prometheus Bound"

The piece Prometheus Bound is based upon the mythological story of the Titan Prometheus who stole fire from the gods to give to mankind.(web 3) This work, which was completed in 1612, has a very interesting and diverse history.
Flemish baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens was born June 28, 1577. By the age of 21 Rubens had become a master painter. At 21, Rubens traveled to Italy to continue his education. It was in Venice where he saw the radiant colors and majestic forms of Titian that influenced the style we see in his Prometheus work. (web1) Prometheus Bound was painted between 1611 and 1612.The more I look at this painting the more I like it but the stranger it becomes. The painting is of an almost naked man chained to a rock and fighting an eagle that is pecking out his liver. This piece symbolizes Baroque art at its purest. Most of the qualities associated with the Baroque are present in this painting. The painting is very dramatic in its portrayal of this struggle between Prometheus and the eagle. When I look at the eagle's face I think it is grinning as if it were enjoying ripping out the liver of Prometheus.
Prometheus seems to be waiting for the right moment to strike.These characters are drawn diagonally to give the piece the dynamic quality that there is motion and a sense of falling off. You can feel the tension between these two characters when you look at their eyes and how they are fixed upon on another.
Another interesting fact regarding this work of art is the addition of its left border. The original painting's left border ended at Prometheus' knee. Rubens later added another 18 inches to the left side of the painting by sewing together the canvas. In the addition we can see a morning sky, the rock to which Prometheus is chained, and a lit torch with …


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