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Everyone knows the plot of the ancient Greek myth of Prometheus. He was severely punished by Zeus. He was chained to the rocks and doomed to eternal suffering. An eagle flew daily and pecked his liver, but the next day it grew back. Why did Prometheus deserve such anger. He secretly from Zeus gave people fire. It is for this that Hephaestus nailed the hero’s body to the ridge of the Caucasus. There he stood for many years.
The theme of Rubens's painting “Chained Prometheus” was this mythological plot. But Rubens interprets it a little differently. We see how the sufferer suffers, chained forever to the rocks, and the eagle pecks his liver. The paw of a bird stands directly on the face of the hero. The painter specially portrayed Prometheus so as not to show what a hellish force tormented his face. But the viewer sees an incredibly beautiful muscular body that is incredibly tense.
It is through him that the pain that Prometheus experiences is transmitted with maximum strength. This is the incredible skill of the artist. The hero is trying in every possible way to use his strength to get out of the bird. But there isn’t enough strength, since Prometheus’s hands are bound by thick chains. Every detail is important in this picture. Here everything conveys the main idea of the artist about the constant struggle of man, even if he is a prisoner. His spirit rebels and is not defeated.
The picture is incredibly colorful. It has a lot of black: it is an eagle, and the sky, and gloomy rocks. The figure of Prometheus is the central and brightest on this canvas. With all the gloominess of the colors used, the viewer does not have a feeling of hopelessness.
Prometheus Rubens fights even chained. He is not portrayed as humble and depressed. The viewer has the feeling that with all the suffering, the hero is about to free himself, you just need to make a little more effort and the chains will break, and the eagle will be defeated and punished for many years of suffering.
Polenov Jesus And the Sinner