Prometheus Bound

Prometheus Bound
Artist Peter Paul Rubens
Year c.1612
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 95.67 x 82.68 in
243 x 210cm
Famous Paintings by Peter P. Rubens
Samson and Delilah
The Descent from the Cross
Prometheus Bound
The Raising of the Cross
Adoration of the Magi
Consequences of War
Complete Works

Prometheus Bound is a painting by the Flemish painter, Peter Paul Rubens. The painting was done using oil paints on canvas. The artist began the painting in 1611 or 1612, and finished it before 1618. The painting measures 95.67 by 82.68 inches. It is currently in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Style and Composition

Prometheus Bound is painted in the Baroque style. Much of Rubens’ work was inspired by religious themes, but the inspiration for this painting is the story of the Titan, Prometheus, from Greek mythology.

The painting depicts a prostrate and naked Prometheus chained to a rock beneath a large tree. A large eagle, with wings spread, stands on Prometheus and is pecking at an open wound that is surrounded by blood. The eagle was painted by Rubens’ contemporary Frans Snyders.

One of the eagle’s clawed feet is on Prometheus’ lower abdomen, and the other is on spread across his forehead and nose. The subject’s face is contorted in pain.

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