Prometheus (Manship)

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Statue at Rockefeller Centre.jpg
The sculpture in 2007
Prometheus is located in Manhattan
Location in New York City
Prometheus is located in New York City
Prometheus (New York City)
Prometheus is located in New York
Prometheus (New York)
ArtistPaul Manship
Year1934 (1934)
Dimensions5.5 m (18 ft)
LocationNew York City, New York, United States
Coordinates40°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] Four Prometheus maquettes exist: one at the Smithsonian Institution, one at the Minnesota Museum of Art, and two in private collections.[3]

Prometheus stands 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 statue depicts the Greek legend of the Titan Prometheus recumbent, bringing fire to mankind by stealing it from the Chariot of the Sun.[7]:105 The Titan statue is flanked by two smaller gilded representations of Youth and Maiden, which were relocated to Palazzo d'Italia from 1939 to 1984 because Manship thought the representations did not fit visually.[4][7]:101 The model for Prometheus was Leonardo Nole,[8] while Ray Van Cleef posed for the original small scale rendering,[9] and 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][7]: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.[7]:105

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  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. ^ "Prometheus". Shining Collection. Retrieved 2014-06-02.
  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. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Thomas, Robert Mcg. Jr. (February 27, 1998). "Leonardo Nole, 91, Prometheus Statue's Model". The New York Times. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  9. ^ 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.

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