A striking, rare Parian figure of Prometheus by Minton from Carrier-Belleuse, made for the Art Union of London and exhibited at the Great Exhibition in 1851. The figure shows Prometheus, in a defiant pose, holding his flame. It has the Minton date mark for 1860. Height 43cm (17” approx).
This figure is illustrated in the “Parian Phenomenon” page 76 fig 114.
In Greek mythology, Prometheus is a Titan, a divine being who stole fire from the gods to give it to mankind, thus enabling development of civilisation. Zeus, king of the gods, punished Prometheus by having him bound for eternity to a rock, where each day an eagle fed on his liver. The liver would then grow back to be eaten again the next day.
Carrier-Belleuse was one of several French sculptors who made original designs especially for the Parian manufacturers rather than copying marble or bronze originals. Carrier worked in England in the early to mid-1850s, creating an impressive range of figures, before returning to France to a glittering career in 1857. Rodin was one of his assistants. For more information see The Parian Phenomenon, chapter: “French Modellers in the Potteries”.
Condition: The tip of the flame has been replaced and there are some fine surface lines on the lower right arm, otherwise this figure is in very good condition.