Born on this day in 1475, Michelangelo was among the most influential artists of all time. Learn how he inspired Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens and see work by both artists in the exhibition “The Wrath of the Gods: Masterpieces by Michelangelo, Titian, and Rubens,” opening this fall.

Prometheus Bound,” begun c. 1611–12, completed by 1618, by Peter Paul Rubens and Frans Snyders

Promethean Heart

Your smile has led me through the depths of hell
For you I stole the lightning held by Zeus
With blurry vision thought it might end well
Offending gods just to amuse a muse.

But like Prometheus I have been caught
Now birds of prey each day eat from my heart
Restored each time I see the smile I sought
A feast again the moment you depart.

I challenged fate and it turns out I lost
The verdict is that hope now burns my soul
And though your smile may well be worth the cost
I must let go or be devoured whole.

And so it seems to fate I must surrender
I must extinguish hope’s last dying ember.


[1] Greek God Titan - Prometheus

Prometheus is still proud of his creation. Pandora may have brought sorrow on the human kind, but they didn’t just manage to survive, no, they became almost godlike.  
Unlike mankind, Prometheus didn’t change much, because what can an artist do other than create? Now he is a high school art teacher, but also gives metalworking courses, just like he did back then in Greece. He continues to wear the ring that Zeus gave him, he doesn’t have the right to forget his torment, not yet. But he still hasn’t learned his lesson, he is still the revolutionary trickster that he was millenniums ago, just nowadays his alias changed from foresight to Banski

Making an Homunculus: Liber vaccae - The Book of the Cow

You will need:

  • One cow
  • One ewe
  • Semen of a magician
  • One’s own urine, fresh
  • Ground sunstone
  • Sulfur
  • "Magnet" (Iron)
  • Green tutia
  • Willow sap
  • Very large glass or leaden vessel
  • Small dark house or shed, with no sunlight able to seep in.

To create your homunculus:

  1. Take a vessel of one’s own water [urine] while warm, and mix with an equal amount of the stone of the sun.

  2. Select either your ewe or your cow. Clean the vulva of the selected animal with herbs and medicines, making the womb capable of receiving what is put therein.

  3. Take the unselected animal. Exsanguinate. Apply a measure of fresh blood on the vulva of the animal being prepared to bear the homunculus and place the semen of the magician deep within the reproductive canal. Store remaining blood.

  4. Plug the vulva of the selected animal with the stone of the sun. Place animal in dark house.

  5. Feed one pound of the blood of the unselected animal to imprisoned animal each week.

  6. Mix equal measures of the sunstone, sulfur, iron, and green tutia with the willow sap and allow to dry in the shadows.

After the cow or sheep gives birth to a shapeless form, it must be immediately put within the powder of minerals and sap prepared in advance. This will provide its skin. Place it within the large glass or leaden vessel. Feed it with only blood and milk from its mother and do not let the sun shine upon it.

How to use your homunculus:

There are many uses for an homunculus -

  • To change the progress of the moon, or to become a cow or sheep: Feed the homunculus as stated. Vivisect it after seven days and state your intentions.

  • To walk upon water: Feed the homunculus as stated. Vivisect it after forty days and apply its fluids to the soles of the feet.

  • To discover what is missing: Feed the homunculus as stated. Leave it within milk and rainwater for a year. After a year passes, it will reveal all that is absent.

Should you fail at your endeavors, the most likely reason is that sunlight touched the impregnated animal or homunculus.


From the Liber Vaccae of William of Auvergne. 12th or 13th century. Extracted from Natural Particulars: Nature and the Disciplines in Renaissance Europe. Anthony Grafton and Nancy Siraisi, 1999.


Donum Dei, Ortus diviciarum sapiencie Dei. Possibly by Georgius Aurach de Argentine, 15th or 16th century.