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PROMETHEUS AND THE VULTURE.
Prometheus is one of the personages of whom mythology has related the most surprising adventures ;which have almost all an allegorical sense. His reputed father was Japetus, and his mother, Asia, Climene, or Themis. He formed a man of clay; and to animate his work, had the temerity to steal the celestial fire. Jupiter, irritated, sent him a wife by Vulcan, and endowed her with every perfection. This was the celebrated Pandora, whose box contained the evils that were to afflict, the world. Prometheus surpassing in prudence his brother Epimetheus, escaped from the allurements of Pandora. Jupiter caused him to be chained by Mercury to a rock, and sent a Vulture, born of Typhon and Echidna, to feed eternally upon his bowels. This cruel punishment had at length an end. Some assert that it was in
consequence of the services he had rendered Jupiter, by dissuading from a marriage with Thetis, whose son would have detroned him. Others ascribe the deliverance of Prometheus to Hercules, placing it among his exploits. Many monuments are extant, upon which this hero is observed lancing his arrows at the Vulture.
The punishment of Prometheus is a subject upon which an artist may exbibit his talents, as a profound designer and ingenious colourist : it is not surprising, therefore, that it has been frequently treated. The figure of this picture has much expression, and is grouped with the Vulture in a picturesque style, but its features are wanting in dignity and correctness. In attempting to give it a full colour, the painter has fallen into an error of making his back ground too dark, and given the fleshy tones a yellow appearance, disagreeable to the eye.This picture was placed, for some time, in one of the apartments of St. Cloud. Its proportion is of the natural size,
THE FLIGHT OF HELEN.
This picture has all the appearance of a scenic representation, although it is not easy to recognize, in the figure of Paris, the Phrygian, destined to decide upon the charms of the rival goddesses, and the great favourite of Venus. Helen recalls much less to our remembrance that celebrated beauty, who caused so many calamities, and, in the end, the ruin of Troy.
It is very rarely that beings, purely allegorical, accord with historical personages; for which reason, Love, who seems, on the fore-ground of the picture, to felicitate himself on his triumph, produces a degree of confusion inimical to good taste. With still less propriety are the negro and the dog introduced.
Although this composition be defective in many respects, it possesses, in its details, considerable beauties. The talent of Guido is visible, in a particular manner, in the figure of the attendant of Helen, the tournure of whose head is truly charming.
A silvery tone of colouring, though somewhat weak, and great harmony of effect, constitute the principal merit of this production; which, in point of character and design, has nothing striking. The back-ground is