BABUREN, Dirck van
(b. ca. 1595, Wijk bij Duurstede, d. 1624, Utrecht)

Prometheus Being Chained by Vulcan

Oil on canvas, 202 x 184 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

With Mercury looking on with amusement, Vulcan the god of fire is chaining Prometheus to a rock. The eagle which is to devour his liver every day - Prometheus' punishment for stealing fire from the gods and giving it to mankind - is hovering ominously in a corner. In this mythological scene, Van Baburen shows himself to be a true Caravaggist, with contrasts of light and shade, dramatic expressions and unidealized people with sun-tanned hands and faces.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 17 minutes):
Karl Goldmark: Prometheus Bound, overture op.38