Advanced Search

Prometheus and the Eagle

Prometheus and the Eagle

Artist: Louis Delaville (French, 1763–1841)
Culture: French
Date: 1807
Medium: Terracotta
Dimensions:
12 x 25 x 12 inches (30.5 x 63.5 x 30.5 cm)
Classification: Sculpture
Credit Line: Museum purchase
Label Text:Here we see the mythological hero Prometheus, punished by the gods for bringing fire to mankind by being chained to a rock and doomed to have his liver eaten daily by an eagle. Terracotta is particularly suited to creating works with crisp details, and Louis Delaville has used this to great effect. The eagle holds a morsel of flesh in its mouth after having reopened a gash in the hero’s side; one can see signs of scarring from previous visits as well. Prometheus’s body is strained and taut with his head thrown back, lips and teeth parted in agony, and toes clenched. In spite of this, his torch, though fallen, still burns.

Delaville studied in Paris and later moved to Lens in northern France, where he established a workshop producing terracotta sculptures. He is not known to have worked in any other medium, and many of his works have not survived the World Wars that devastated the region.





Provenance: (Alex Wengraft, Ltd., London). Mr. and Mrs. Joseph T. Tannenbaum, Toronto. Purchased 2001 through (W.M. Brady & Co, Inc, New York) by Duke University Museum of Art, now Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.
Object number: 2001.25.1