PROMETHEUS BOUND

Peter Paul Rubens (1547 – 1640) & Frans Snyders (1579 – 1657) -painted the eagle
When I walked into the Philadelphia Museum of Art for myfirst time I could not wait to start looking at the artworks of brilliant artist of the past and present. I took my time on myfirst visit looking at as much as I could. Prometheus Bound by Peter Paul Ruben and Frans Synders, is one of the painting that drew my attention immediately and beckoned me to examine its history. Located on the second floor in room 258, this oil on canvas painting, spanning 95 7/8" x 82 1/2" (7' 117/8" x 6' 101/2"), was begun in 1611 and completed in 1618. Ruben completed the majority of the painting while Synders painted the giant Caucasian Eagle. I choose this painting because I am interested in myths and legends, and the story of Prometheus is of my favorites. I feel Ruben and Synders rendition is unique and mesmerizing due to the visual attributes.
In both Greek and Roman mythologies Prometheus was a Titan whose name means “Forethought.” Although there are several versions of the myths, the most famous are that Prometheus creates man and later steals fire from Mount Olympus to save mankind. In the Greek myth, Prometheus was the creator of mankind. The goddess Athena taught him architecture, astronomy, mathematics, navigation, medicine, and metallurgy, and he in turn taught them to humans. Zeus, the chief of the Greek gods, became angry with Prometheus for making people powerful by teaching them all these useful skills. Then when the gods chose Prometheus as mediator in a dispute, he fooled the gullible Zeus into picking the worst parts of the sacrificial bull by hiding them under a rich layer of fat. To punish Prometheus, Zeus withheld fire from men. “Let them eat their flesh raw,” he declared. Nevertheless, Prometheus disobeyed Zeus and stole fire from one of the other gods, returning to earth to delivered fire to mankind. Zeus trie…

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