Prometheus Bound Essay, Research Paper
My trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art was definitely an enjoyable trip. When I first arrived I was in awe at the size and beauty of the building. The building s architecture reminded me of a lot of European architecture. The inside of the building was also very nice. While walking around I was fascinated with many of the exhibits they had set up. My favorite of the displays was probably the ancient arms and weapons. In that particular exhibit they had many ancient guns and swords and many different types of armor. The museum had many interesting rooms. There were rooms like the Indian room, which had pillars with old Indian architecture. There were many different groups of paintings from many different time periods and areas. The painting that I chose to write about is from the seventeenth century Flemish painting s room. I chose Peter Paul Rubens Prometheus Bound.
Peter Paul Rubens lived from fifteen seventy-seven to sixteen forty, he was considered one of the most important artists in the seventeenth century. Rubens was born in Siegen, Westphalia. Before Rubens was born his parents fled from the city of Antwerp to Westphalia because of religious persecution. Jan Rubens, Peter s father, was the adviser and lover of Princess Anna of Saxon, wife of Prince William I of Orange. When Jan Rubens died Peter s family moved back to Antwerp. After studying the Classics in a Latin school and serving as a court page, Rubens decided to become a painter.
Rubens was apprenticed to Tobias Verhaecht, Adam van Noort, and Otto van Veen three minor Flemish painters. In fifteen ninety-eight, at the age of twenty-one, he was accorded the rank of master painter of the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke. Shortly afterwards, following the example of many northern European artists of the period, Rubens traveled to Italy. In 1600 he arrived in Venice, where he was particularly inspired by the paintings of Titian, Paolo Veronese, and Tintoretto. During his years in Italy, Rubens was exposed to the early Baroque works of the contemporary Italian painters Annibale Carracci and Caravaggio. Pretty soon Rubens became a painter of international repute.
Rubens went back to Antwerp where he met and married Isabella Brant in sixteen oh-nine. On his return to Antwerp, Flanders he was recognized as his country’s foremost painter. On his return he was immediately employed by the burgomaster of Antwerp. His position was further confirmed in 1609, when he was engaged as court painter to the Archduke Albert and his wife, the Infanta Isabella. With all of his dealings with the Flemish court Rubens became a diplomatic figure. Rubens traveled all over Europe and did work for many of the great monarchs of the time. Rubens died in sixteen forty at Antwerp. Rubens led a very successful life that was marked by many great achievements.
Prometheus Bound is a very intriguing painting. The painting tells the story of the ancient Greek God Prometheus. Prometheus was said to have stolen fire from the home of the ancient Greek Gods, Mount Olympus. Supposedly Prometheus gave the gift of fire to man. Zeus, the head Greek God, punished Prometheus for his crime. Prometheus s punishment was to live the same horrible death day after day. Prometheus s death came from the sky in the form of an eagle. Everyday this eagle would come down to the spot where Prometheus was chained to and it would out Prometheus s intestines.
Prometheus Bound took about seven years to complete. The painting is pretty large and there is an eleven inch section that was added on after the painting was completed. Prometheus Bound was painted in the Baroque style. The eagle that ate Prometheus s intestine was painted by Frans Snyder. Frans Snyder was an expert at painting animals and types of fruit and vegetables. Rubens used dark colors in Prometheus Bound to better describe Prometheus s gloomy situation.
The Baroque Period, the period in which Rubens worked in, lasted through the sixteen hundreds and was still evident in some places until seventeen fifty. The Baroque era dominated European art throughout the sixteen hundreds. Religion was an influence in the baroque art style. Many artists from the baroque era painted catholic paintings that helped reinforce the Catholic Church s counter reformation, which was used to combat the growing speed of Protestantism.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art was a very interesting experience for me. I will remember the many amazing things that I saw in there for awhile. I feel that every time I make an excursion like this I become more and more cultured. It is not everyday that you can see so many famous works by so many famous artists. I fully appreciate having the opportunity to see these paintings. I will also remember Peter Paul Rubens s Prometheus Bound, the painting that tells the tragic yet heroic story of the Greek God who sacrificed himself in order to better mankind.