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Prometheus Bound
Prometheus Bound, Begun c. 1611-12, completed by 1618
Peter Paul Rubens, Flemish (active Italy, Antwerp, and England)
Oil on canvas
95 1/2 x 82 1/2 inches (242.6 x 209.5 cm)
Purchased with the W. P. Wilstach Fund, 1950
W1950-3-1
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Looking Questions

  • What are the brightest parts of this painting? The darkest?
  • Which parts look very real? Why?
  • Where is this scene taking place?
  • This painting is telling a story. Who are the main characters? How can you tell?
  • Compare the man (Prometheus) and the bird (eagle). Which is bigger? Are they placed vertically, horizontally, or diagonally?
  • Look for a burning torch and a chain. How might these objects be important to the story?
  • Read the story of Prometheus. Which scene is depicted here?
 

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