"Prometheus and Mercury," Large, Rare Art Deco Painting with Male Nudes, 1942 For Sale
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"Prometheus and Mercury," Large, Rare Art Deco Painting with Male Nudes, 1942


In the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, William Littlefield painted a series of mythological subjects, often featuring idealized male nude figures, and this is the largest and best example we have seen. Here Mercury is flying through the air toward the shackled Prometheus, being punished for his audacious gift of fire to mankind. Although Mercury is said to have had a hand in Prometheus' fate, here he seems to be coming to offer assistance or succor. Littlefield is also known for his drawings and prints of boxers in motion, but may be best known for a life-size portrait of Lincoln Kerstein, who helped found what became the New York City ballet. The medium is oil on canvas. (Dimensions include frame.)


  • Materials and Techniques
  • Condition
  • Condition Details
    Painting is in excellent condition; the frame has a number of bruises and scrapes.
  • Dimensions
    H 39.5 in. x W 46 in. x D 3 in.H 100.33 cm x W 116.84 cm x D 7.62 cm
  • Seller Location
    Philadelphia, PA
  • Reference Number
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About the Seller

5 / 5
1stdibs seller since 2009
Located in Philadelphia, PA
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