Hephaestus, Bia and Crato Securing Prometheus on Mount Caucasus

Henry Fuselic 1800 - c 1810

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Auckland, New Zealand

In Greek mythology, Prometheus, a Titan, created the first man from clay and stole fire from the gods to give to humankind. Zeus, father of the gods, punished him by having him chained to a rock where an eagle descended each day to feed on his liver. Zeus is depicted in the top right corner with the eagle. Fuseli has taken the figure of Hephaestus (Vulcan) from the executioner’s pose in Andrea del Sarto’s Decapitation of St John. In Greek mythology, Prometheus’ punishment was seen by many to prefigure the Crucifixion, and he also stood as a symbol for the artist who receives from heaven the fire of creative inspiration.

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  • Title: Hephaestus, Bia and Crato Securing Prometheus on Mount Caucasus
  • Creator: Henry Fuseli
  • Creator Lifespan: 1741 - 1825
  • Creator Nationality: Switzerland; Great Britain
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Birth Place: Zurich, Switzerland
  • Date Created: c 1800 - c 1810
  • Physical Dimensions: w302 x h359 mm (Without frame)
  • Artist biography: Henry Fuseli was born in Zurich, Switzerland in 1741. Fuseli spent most of his working life in England, where he established himself as the most original history painter and draughtsman of his generation. Renowned for his treatment of bizarre and psychologically penetrating subjects, he was also a prolific writer and, from 1779, Professor of Painting at the Royal Academy, London. He died in 1825.
  • Type: Drawing
  • Rights: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1965
  • External Link: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
  • Medium: pencil

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