Theft of Fire


“The Torture of Prometheus”, Johannes Josephus Aarts, 1881-1934

The Theft of Fire is originally inspired by the myth of Prometheus and his consequent punishment. 

In greek mythology, Prometheus is the responsible for the Theft of Fire from the Gods. 

According to the classical texts, the titan Prometheus created the humans from the clay. In order to enlighten them with wisdom, he committed one of the biggest crimes ever by stealing the sacred fire. That way he brought great teachings/revelations and technological progress to the vulnerable race of humans. 

The event ascended a great fury on Zeus, father of Gods and Prometheus was cruelly punished . 

He was chained to a rock in a place said to be on borders of Earth and Chaos. As if that were not enough, a giant eagle was sent to eat his liver. As an immortal being, Prometheus grew a new organ at night as fast as the bird could consume it by day. That cycle would lasts for all eternity. 

“Any technological advance can be dangerous. Fire was dangerous from the start, and so (even more so) was speech – and both are still dangerous to this day – but human beings would not be human without them.” – Isaac Asimov.

The design shows a deformed body of a titan struggling to reach the sun while hands from unknown characters are trying to stop him. We transformed the common fire into a gold mask of the sun, giving it a more precious tone and a deeper symbolism. 

Prometheus is the middle way between the sacred and the profane, the cosmos and order (the right side) and the chaos (the left side). His infraction made possible to balance the two worlds and to give a better life to the humans. 

“He was, after all, the ultimate rebel — it takes a lot of cojones to stand up to Zeus.” – Jasper Fforde

Psychologically speaking “the Promethean endeavour becomes an internal battle or war between positive and negatively-charged forces of the soul.” 

“Prometheus Brings Fire To Mankind”, Heinrich Fuger, 1817.
“Prometheus Bound”, Jacob Jordaens, c. 1640.
”Prometheus Carrying Fire” , Jan Cossiers, 1637.
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