Object Details

Prometheus and Pandora

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General Information
Classification
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Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright for Photograph:

Creative Commons

Location

Street:Church Street / A283
Town:Petworth
Parish:Petworth
Council:Chichester District Council
County:West Sussex
Postcode:GU28
Location on Google Map
Object setting:Inside building
Access is:Public
Location note:Petworth House, The North Gallery, Square Bay
In the AZ book:West Sussex
Page:61
Grid reference:N9
The A-Z books used are A-Z East Sussex and A-Z West Sussex (Editions 1A 2005). Geographers' A-Z Map Company Ltd. Sevenoaks.
Previous location:Petworth House, The Audit Room (moved 1992)

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Makers

Name : John Edward Carew

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General Information

Commissioned by: George O’Brien Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont (1751-1837)
Construction period:1835-7 (unfinished)
Work is:Extant
Owner custodian:The National Trust (Petworth House)
Description:A naked Pandora sits on a draped block. Her raised right knee and right arm cover the genital area. Prometheus stands to her right, naked, the drapery covering the genital area. His right arm is raised aloft and in his hand is what appears to be an incomplete carved object.
Iconographical description:In Greek mythology, Prometheus created the first man from clay, stole fire from the gods to give to mankind, was punished by Jupiter and released from his torment by Hercules. His sister-in-law was Pandora, the ‘all-gifted’, who was fashioned from clay by Vulcan. After Prometheus’s theft of fire, Jupiter’s retribution to mankind was the opening of Pandora’s Box thus releasing all the world’s evils. Only Hope remained inside.
Signatures:Carved catalogue number on base '116'
Inscription:Rough wooden plaque attached to base at the front below Prometheus’ right foot:

Prometheus
And
Pandora

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Classification

Categories:Free Standing, Sculptural
Object type1:Sculpture
Object type2:Statue
Subject type1:Mythological
     Subject subtype1:Seated
Subject type2:Figurative
     Subject subtype1:Group

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Object Parts

Part 1:Oval pedestal
     Material:Portland stone
     Height (cm):137
     Width (cm):100
     Depth (cm):160
Part 2:Statue
     Material:White marble
     Height (cm):270
     Width (cm):140
     Depth (cm):125

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Object Condition

Overall condition:Good
Risk assessment:No known risk
Condition 1 of type:Structural
     Condition 1: Broken or missing parts
     More details:Pandora: broken fingers and thumb on right hand, 3rd. finger missing at knuckle. Prometheus: left foot shows a previous repair to big toe
Date of on-site inspection:27/06/2008

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History

History:The North Gallery is one of the very few top-lit sculpture and picture galleries to survive from the early nineteenth century. It was extensively restored in 1991-3. The South corridor is the earliest part of the gallery, which was built between 1754 and 1763 to house the major part of the 2nd. Earl’s collection of antiques statuary. The top-lit Central Corridor was added to the gallery by the 3rd. Earl in 1824-5. At the same time work began on the final extension to the gallery, the Square Bay and the whole was finished in October 1827. The works were supervised by Thomas Upton, the Petworth Clerk of Works, and executed by his building yard. Advice was sought from at least three artists; the painter Thomas Philips and the sculptors Sir Francis Chantrey and John Edward Carew. The galleries are presently painted a dark red, restored to this colour during the 1991-3 restorations. The galleries had been this colour in 1873. Red (with green, the most traditional colour for picture galleries) was felt by Ruskin to accentuate the contours of sculpture, and it was known to have been used in ancient Rome as a foil to sculpture. The present sculpture arrangement (devised in 1991-3) was designed to restore, as far as possible that conceived by the 3rd. Earl. It was taken from a unique ground plan of the 3rd. Earl’s statue deployment drawn up in 1835 by H.W. Philips. Apart from the Flaxman, the Square Bay has become a gallery of works by the Irish sculptor J.E. Carew, many of which were placed here in 1835.

Carew declared in 1837 that the Prometheus group ‘was begun about two years since’ and it remained unfinished after the 3rd. Earl’s death in 1837. Carew's insolvency led him to sue Lord Egremont's executors for the astonishing sum of £50,000, despite the lavish payments that he had received during Lord Egremont's lifetime. The published proceedings of the ensuing court case (1841-42), in which Westmacott and Chantrey appeared as expert witnesses, is an important document not only for Carew's relationship with his patron but for its rarity as a record of sculptural practice in early nineteenth-century England. Carew's claim was rejected, and his bankruptcy ten years later confirmed the 3rd Earl's prediction: 'you will come to the dogs'.
('Petwroth House').

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References

Source 1 :
     Title:'Petworth House'
     Type:Book
     Author:Rowell, Christopher
     Publisher:The National Trust.


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Photographs





Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons

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