Prometheus, fountain on the sunken plaza in front of 30 Rockefeller Center

Paul Manship
1934
gilded bronze



The Titan Prometheus is here depicted in his role as fire-giver to mankind, a theft which later caused him to be enchained on Mount Caucasus, where an eagle daily picked at his liver. In this work the earth is represented by the jagged mountain toward which Prometheus falls, the ocean by the rectangular pool, and the heavens by the ring with symbols of the zodiac inscribed upon it.

Prometheus as Fire-Giver

Carved in the red granite wall behind the figure is a quote from Greek dramatist Aeschylus, "Prometheus, Teacher in Every Art, Brought the Fire That Hath Proved to Mortals a Means to Mighty Ends."
 
Manship's figures of mankind--Youth and a Maiden, those who received his gift of fire, originally flanked Prometheus, but they were later moved and are now at the top of the staircase above the Plaza.


See other works by Manship on this site.


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© 2009 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. (I would appreciate being told if you find them useful.) They are not available for commercial purposes without my explicit permission.