Prometheus (Manship)

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Prometheus
Statue at Rockefeller Centre.jpg
The sculpture in 2007
Prometheus is located in Manhattan
Prometheus
Prometheus
Location in New York City
Prometheus is located in New York City
Prometheus
Prometheus
Prometheus (New York City)
Prometheus is located in New York
Prometheus
Prometheus
Prometheus (New York)
Artist Paul Manship
Year 1934 (1934)
Type Sculpture
Medium Bronze
Dimensions 5.5 m (18 ft)
Location New York City, New York, United States
Coordinates 40°45′31″N 73°58′43″W / 40.75872°N 73.97859°W / 40.75872; -73.97859Coordinates: 40°45′31″N 73°58′43″W / 40.75872°N 73.97859°W / 40.75872; -73.97859

Prometheus is a 1934 gilded, cast bronze sculpture by Paul Manship, located above the lower plaza at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, New York City. Created by Roman Bronze Works in Queens, the statue is 18 ft (5.5 m) tall and weighs 8 tons.[1][2]

It depicts the Greek legend of the Titan Prometheus, bringing fire to mankind by stealing it from the Chariot of the Sun.[3]:105

Description

The recumbent figure is in a 60-by-16-foot (18.3 by 4.9 m) fountain basin in front of a gray, rectangular wall in the Lower Plaza,[4] located in the middle of Rockefeller Center.[5][6] The ring – inscribed with the signs of the zodiac (labeled on the inside of the ring) – represents the heavens, from which he falls toward the earth (the mountain) and the sea (the pool).[7]

The inscription – a paraphrase from Aeschylus – on the granite wall behind, reads: "Prometheus, teacher in every art, brought the fire that hath proved to mortals a means to mighty ends."[4][3]:105

Prometheus is considered the main artwork of Rockefeller Center, and is one of the complex's more well-known works of art. The seasonal Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is erected above the statue every winter. During the rest of the year, Prometheus serves as the main aesthetic draw in the lower plaza's outdoor restaurant.[3]:105

Associated artworks

The statue was flanked by Manship's Youth and Maiden (the "Mankind Figures"), occupying the granite shelves to the rear[8] (now topped by plants). They were relocated to Palazzo d'Italia from 1939 to 1984, because Manship thought they did not fit visually.[4][3]:101 Originally gilded, they were given a brown patina when restored. They were moved to the staircase above the skating rink in 2001, as if they are "announcing Prometheus".[9]

Four Prometheus maquettes exist: one at the Smithsonian Institution, one at the Minnesota Museum of Art, and two in private collections.[10]

Models

The model for Prometheus was Leonardo Nole (c. 1907–1998), an Italian-American lifeguard from New Rochelle who modeled for college art classes. He spent three months posing for this assignment in the spring of 1933. After World War II, he later became a postal worker.[11]

Manship's assistant Angelo Colombo did most of the detail work when Nole was posing. Henry Krist, another assistant, sculpted the hair.

Ray Van Cleef posed for the original small-scale rendering.[12]

See also

References

  1. ^ "STATUE IN CENTER PLAZA.; Giant Figure of Prometheus Set at Rockefeller Fountain" (PDF). New York Times. 1934. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  2. ^ "Prometheus". Rockefeller Center. Retrieved 2014-06-02.
  3. ^ a b c d Roussel, Christine (May 17, 2006). The Art of Rockefeller Center. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. pp. 101, 105. ISBN 978-0-3930-6082-9.
  4. ^ a b c Adams, Janet (1985). "Rockefeller Center Designation Report" (PDF). City of New York; New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. p. 168.
  5. ^ Federal Writers' Project (1939). New York City: Vol 1, New York City Guide. US History Publishers. p. 336. ISBN 978-1-60354-055-1. Archived from the original|archive-url= requires |url= (help) on |archive-url= requires |archive-date= (help).
  6. ^ Krinsky, Carol H. (1978). Rockefeller Center. Oxford University Press. p. 64. ISBN 978-0-19-502404-3.
  7. ^ "The story of Prometheus". Rock History.
  8. ^ "Photo showing the original setup". 1934.
  9. ^ "Mankind Figures (Maiden and Youth)". Art Exhibits of NYC: Rockefeller Center.
  10. ^ "Prometheus". Shining Collection. Retrieved 2014-06-02.
  11. ^ Thomas, Robert Mcg. Jr. (February 27, 1998). "Leonardo Nole, 91, Prometheus Statue's Model". The New York Times. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  12. ^ Deal, Martha (May 2000). "Who Posed for the Statue of Prometheus?" (PDF). Iron Game History. 6 (3): 34–35. Retrieved January 11, 2019 – via H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports.

External links

  • Media related to Prometheus by Paul Manship at Wikimedia Commons
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