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QUESTION: a long time ago i tore a picture from a book and recently
found it. its a painting of a man who i think is Adam tied
to a rock with a snake (devil) on a tree looking at a scared
adam....there are mountains in the background and its on a
cliff sort of...main focus is man and you know
this painting?

ANSWER: Dear Jacob,

Thank you for your question.  I'm hesitant to 'answer' as this is really outside my specified subject area (Salvador Dali), but I'll give it a shot.
It is impossible to know the work to which you refer without seeing an image.  That said, your description does not sound like a traditional rendering of Adam in the Garden of Eden, specifically because you note that Adam is tied to a rock.  I can't think of any reason for Adam to be tied to a rock near the Tree of Knowledge.  Again, I can't say anything specific without looking at the work -- and even then it might be difficult --, but I speculate that perhaps you have an image of Prometheus. In Greek mythology, Prometheus stole fire from Zeus and gave it to humankind.  Zeus punished him by having him bound to a rock on the side of a cliff; every day, a great bird -- in some cases an eagle or a vulture -- would torture him by eating his liver, and every night his liver would grow back, only to be eaten again the next day. I'm wondering if perhaps the figure bound to a rock on a cliff is Prometheus, and the snake you describe is actually a bird -- perhaps the long neck of a vulture? This was a very popular subject for painters. Take a look in google images for Prometheus and see if anything matches.  Alternatively, if you'd like to post an image, I may be able to give you further information.

Kind regards,

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

painting in question
painting in question  
QUESTION: okay so i took a picture of this picture...the Prometheus was
close but not it....its a snake no doubt...thanks for your
help i hope this can assist

Dear Jacob,

Thanks for following up!  You're right, that is a snake: It's a depiction of the Norse God, Loki.  Not unlike the story of Prometheus, Loki, too, is punished by the gods: He was bound to a rock with the entrails of one of his sons. A serpent was positioned above him. The serpent dripped venom onto him, which was usually caught in a bowl by his wife, Sigyn; however, when Sigyn had to empty the bowl, the venom would fall on Loki, and it was very painful.  I don't know the artist who made this painting, unfortunately, but I did a google images search for Loki and on the third page or so found the same image:

This should give you a good start in finding out the artist.

Good luck!

Fine Art

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Elliott H. King


As a professional art historian, I can answer questions related to the art and life of Salvador Dalí. I am neither an art broker nor an appraiser, so I cannot answer questions regarding a work's value or authenticity; however, I can refer you to individuals who work in the Dali market.


I am an art historian specializing in Salvador Dalí. For over ten years, I have been a pioneer in the critical study of ‘Late Dalí’ (i.e., the artist's work after 1940). I have presented extensively on aspects of Dalí’s production at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Tate Modern, L’Université de Lausanne, Cerisy la Salle, the University of London, and Harvard University, and I have been a guest lecturer at Cambridge University and the University of Chicago. I have published several essays about Dalí in addition to my book, 'Dalí, Surrealism, and Cinema' (Kamera Books, 2007). I have also contributed to major international exhibitions of Dalí's work, including the Dalí Centenary Exhibition (2004-05) and 'Dalí & Film' (2007-08).

BOOKS "Dalí: The Late Work", High Museum of Art, Atlanta in association with Yale UP, 2010. "Dalí, Surrealism and Cinema", Kamera Books, Herts (UK), 2007. ESSAYS, ARTICLES AND CHAPTERS • “Little Black Dress, Little Red Book: Dalí, Mao, and Monarchy (with Special Attention to Trajan’s Glorious Testicles)”, in Michael R. Taylor (ed.), The Dalí Renaissance: New Perspectives on His Life and Art after 1940, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, 2008, pp. 90111. • “The Prodigious Story of the Lacemaker and the Rhinoceros”, in ibid, pp. 190204. • “Crazy Movies That Disappear”, in Matthew Gale (ed.), Dalí and Film, Tate Publishing, London / Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2007, pp. 214229. Published also in Spanish as "Dalí y el cine", Electa, Madrid, 2008. • “Le temps dalínien fait mouche: Réflexions sur les « montres molles »”, in Astrid Ruffa, Philippe Kaenel, Danielle Chaperon (eds.), "Salvador Dalí à la croisée des savoirs", Éditions Desjonquères, Paris, 2007, pp. 3752. • “Winged Fantasy with Lead Feet: The Influence of Llullism and Hiparxiologi on Dalí’s Mysticism”, in Hank Hine, William Jeffett and Kelly Reynolds (eds.), "Persistence & Memory: New Critical Perspectives on Dalí at the Centennial", Bompiani Arte, Milan, 2004, pp. 189193. EXHIBITION CATALOGUES: ENTRIES • Dawn Ades and Michael R. Taylor (eds.), "Dalí", Bompiani Arte, Milan, 2004. EXHIBITION CATALOGUES: BIBLIOGRAPHIES, FILMOGRAPHIES AND CHRONOLOGIES • “Dalí Filmography”, published in Matthew Gale (ed.), "Dalí and Film", op.cit., pp. 230231. • “A Cinematic Chronology of Dalí, 19411989”, in ibid, pp. 160163. • Compiled the most complete bibliography of Dalí resources todate, published in Dawn Ades and Michael R. Taylor (eds.), "Dalí", op.cit., pp. 568598.

Ph.D, Art History and Theory (2010) University of Essex, Colchester, England M.A. with Distinction in Dissertation, History of Art (2001) Courtauld Institute of Art, London, England B.A. summa cum laude, Art History (hons., Phi Beta Kappa) University of Denver, Denver, Colorado

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