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Prometheus Chained by Vulcan by Dirck van Baburen

    Prometheus Chained by Vulcan by Dirck van Baburen

    Prometheus Chained by Vulcan by Dirck van Baburen was created in 1623. The painting is in Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. The size of the work is 201 x 182 cm and is made as an oil on canvas.

    Prometheus stole fire from the gods and gave it to mankind. As punishment, Vulcan chained him to a rock, where an eagle pecked out his liver causing him excruciating pain. Here we see Prometheus being chained, his face contorted with fear, while Mercury laughs at him. Van Baburen borrowed the dramatic illumination and the figure’s sunburned hands and faces from his great model Caravaggio.

    Van Baburen’s Prometheus Chained by Vulcan is a much more elaborate version of the subject than Rubens’s painting now in Philadelphia. The artist or his advisers may have derived the three central figures and the comic tone from Lucian’s satiric dialogue. The still life of protractor, compasses and books may have been suggested by Aeschylus’ play… (read more in in Rijksmuseum)

    About the Artist: Dutch Baroque painter Dirck van Baburen was born in Wijk bij Duurstede in 1595. His father was a Jasper van, Utrecht council. In 1611, he started taking painting lessons from Paulus Moreelse, a painter of portraits and historical subjects. Probably in later years he became an apprentice of the painter. In 1612 he went to Rome and was influenced by Caravaggio’s dramatic shadowing and the use of light… Read more

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