• Sunday , 21 January 2018

Get a Sneak Peak of The Wrath of the Gods: Masterpieces by Rubens, Michelangelo and Titian at Philadelphia Museum of Art

Photos, story by Lou Perri

What can one say about Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and CEO of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and his gifted staff, but they did it again with another wonderful exhibit.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art offers visitors The Wrath of the Gods: Masterpieces by Rubens, Michelangelo, and Titian. The exhibition focuses on one of the finest works by the great Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640), Prometheus Bound. This ambitious, large-scale painting, described by the artist himself as “the flower of my stock,” is  presented alongside works by the Renaissance and Baroque masters who inspired Rubens’s dramatic treatment of the eternal torment to which the Titan Prometheus was condemned by Zeus for giving the gift of fire to humanity. These include Michelangelo’s famous drawing of the Titan Tityus, on loan from the British Royal Collection, and Titian’s large canvas depicting the same subject from the collection of the Museo del Prado. Neither work has ever been displayed together with Prometheus Bound by Rubens.

What makes this wonderful collection of art so dramatic is, of course, the works themselves. But, Christopher Atkins, the Agnes and Jack Mulroney Associate Curator of European Painting and Sculpture before 1900, has created a wonderful exhibit room. He  stated: “The ancient story of Prometheus is among the most enduring myths associated with human creativity. It has continued to resonate, from the depiction of Frankenstein as the ‘modern Prometheus’ to the eternal flame represented by the Olympic torch and within Hollywood films. Rubens’s motivation for painting Prometheus in all its graphic violence is best understood as a means to align both his works and identity with the greatest masters of the recent and ancient past. It is among his greatest achievements.”

If you are exploring Philadelphia in the future, be sure to include this wonderful Rubens exhibit at the Philadelphia Art Museum in your plans. It’s worth the run up those Art Museum steps to view.

 Works by northern European artists such as Michiel Coxcie and Hendrik Goltzius are included.


Works by northern European artists such as Michiel Coxcie and Hendrik Goltzius are included.

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. Works by northern European artists such as Michiel Coxcie and Hendrik Goltzius are included.

Works by northern European artists such as Michiel Coxcie and Hendrik Goltzius are included.

Works by northern European artists such as Michiel Coxcie and Hendrik Goltzius are included.

Works by northern European artists such as Michiel Coxcie and Hendrik Goltzius are included.

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Guests mingle by the painting that is part of the advertising flyer.

On display is an 1805 cast of the ancient Greek sculpture called Laocöon, on loan from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, which depicts a Trojan priest and his two sons attacked by giant snakes

On display is an 1805 cast of the ancient Greek sculpture called Laocöon, on loan from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, which depicts a Trojan priest and his two sons attacked by giant snakes.

A close-up of this sculpture.

A close-up of this sculpture.

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Rubens Prometheus Bound, from the museum collection.

Rubens Prometheus Bound, from the museum collection.

Close-up of Prometheus

Close-up of Prometheus.

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 Michelangelo’s Tityus depicts a heroically-scaled figure in torment as well.

Michelangelo’s Tityus depicts a heroically-scaled figure in torment as well.

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Close up of image.

Christopher Atkins, the Agnes and Jack Mulroney Associate Curator of European Painting and Sculpture before 1900, stated: “The ancient story of Prometheus is among the most enduring myths associated with human creativity.

Christopher Atkins, the Agnes and Jack Mulroney Associate Curator of European Painting and Sculpture before 1900, stated: “The ancient story of Prometheus is among the most enduring myths associated with human creativity.

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Rubens Crucifixion. The relations between the two subjects will be explored further through examples of Rubens’s simultaneous interest in representing the torment that Christ suffered during his crucifixion.

Rubens Crucifixion. The relations between the two subjects will be explored further through examples of Rubens’s simultaneous interest in representing the torment that Christ suffered during his crucifixion.

Close-up of the Crucifixion.

Close-up of the Crucifixion.

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The Philadelphia Museum of Art has partnered with Locust Moon Press to produce Prometheus Eternal, a 26-page full-color comic book based on the Museum’s painting Prometheus Bound by Rubens ($6). The comic will be available in September, coinciding with the opening of The Wrath of the Gods exhibition.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art has partnered with Locust Moon Press to produce Prometheus Eternal, a 26-page full-color comic book based on the Museum’s painting Prometheus Bound by Rubens ($6). The comic will be available in September, coinciding with the opening of The Wrath of the Gods exhibition.

Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and CEO of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, said: “Bringing these works together for the first time presents a welcome opportunity to foster a deeper understanding of one of the finest and most significant paintings in the Museum’s collection

Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and CEO of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, said: “Bringing these works together for the first time presents a welcome opportunity to foster a deeper understanding of one of the finest and most significant paintings in the Museum’s collection.”

 

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