Prometheus Study



Ink and wash on paper
Circa 1940

Sheet Length 31 cm., Height 24.8 cm.,
Floated in an oak frame
Frame Length 45 cm., Height 39 ½ cm.,

RELATED TO : Keith Vaughan, Voyage au Cythera, 1941

The Greek myth of Prometheus, the titan punished by Zeus for stealing fire and giving it to humans, was a popular subject with 18th and 19th century romantic painters such as Henry Fuseli and William Blake, as well as among writers such as Mary Shelley who wrote Frankenstein, or a Modern Prometheus in 1818. In the 1940s, Vaughan collaborated with John Minton, Michael Ayrton and older artists such as Graham Sutherland and this loose circle is sometimes referred to as the neo-Romantics. They share with the earlier Romantics the interest in Greek mythology and in particular fallen heroes such as Prometheus.

In this study of several figures, we can discern not just the minotaur, the Prometheus of the title, but also what appears to be a centaur and also two adult male figures and one of a young child, coexisting in this grouping, almost in harmony. This work is stylistically related to a drawing, Voyage au Cythera, 1941, which also refers to a Greek island between Peloponnese and Crete regarded in Greek mythology as the isle of the goddess of love and regeneration, Aphrodite.

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Height 24.8 cm / 10"
Width 31 cm / 12 "



Artists' Estate