Home | High-Res License | Website License | Free Pictures | About


More Photos

In Rockefeller Center (New York City), directly across the street from St. Patrick's Cathedral, is this two ton statue of Atlas; a companion piece to Prometheus, and the largest sculptural work at Rockefeller Center. Atlas carries the heavens upon his shoulders as punishment for defying Zeus. Designed and cast in 1936 by Lee Lawrie and Rene Chambellan, the statue's exaggerated musculature and stylized body are characteristic of the Art Deco style.

The north-south axis of the armillary sphere on his shoulders points to the North Star as viewed from New York City. Laid across Atlas's shoulders is a wide, curved beam that displays a frieze of the traditional symbols for Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Adjacent to Earth (over Atlas's right forearm) is a small crescent symbolizing the Moon. Affixed to one of the sphere's rings are symbols for twelve constellations through which the Sun passes during the year.

Also of interest are the statues on the facade of Grand Central Station (also in New York City).