Prometheus chained, Rubens – a description of the picture

Prometheus chained, Rubens – a description of the picture
Prometheus chained, Rubens - a description of the picture - 1

  • Posted by Peter Paul Rubens
  • Museum: Art Museum, Philadelphia
  • Year: 1612

Description of the picture :

Prometheus chained – Rubens. 1612. Oil on canvas. butter. 81×70 cm

   Mythological stories have always interested the painter Rubens. With the magical power of color and line, he sought to revive history that came to us in the form of myths, stories of respected, but devoid of any scientific evidence. Thus, Rubens seemed to affirm the credibility of what happened, creating his picturesque testimonies, very realistic and emotional.

   Prometheus is a titanium that brought upon itself the wrath of Zeus. Secretly from the greatest permission of Zeus, Prometheus handed fire to people, for which he was doomed to eternal torment – he was chained to a rock where he flew an eagle every day to stick out his liver. The next day, a new liver grew in the sufferer, and the torment of the unfortunate Prometheus began anew.

   The moment when the eagle spills out the liver, depicted Rubens. The master filigreely depict human bodies, and here Rubens resorted to this skill. The audience does not see the face of Prometheus distorted by pain – the eagle closed it with a clawed paw. However, by how much his muscles are strained, swaying on a beautiful athletic body, it is easy to guess what titanium is experiencing. We see how Prometheus wants to dodge the hot beak that hurts, but all his efforts are in vain – the chains gently bound his hands.

   The whole picture is solved in gloomy tones – the abundance of black, dark brown with rare blue glimpses makes a very emotional impact. However, such a pathetic, powerful power and struggle are felt in the whole canvas – the hero does not humbly wait for his fate, which he knows, but tirelessly fights with the bird and his punishment. Dorubenskaya painting never pretended to be such powerful feelings, gravying more either to intimacy in secular paintings, or strictly following academic canons in religious canons.