In Greek mythology, Prometheus gave humans the secret of fire to enable their independent creativity. Zeus punished this act of defiance by setting Prometheus in chains and sending a vulture to attack him each day. Lipchitz saw Prometheus as a legendary artist and, more generally, a symbol of freedom. This is an early study for his monument for the 1937 International Exhibition, which he described as 'a political sculpture, propaganda for democracy'. In this composition, Prometheus restrains the vulture with one hand and holds aloft the flame with the other.