Herbert Draper: The Lament for Icarus (1898)


(Tate Britain, London, UK)

A painting by the English artist Herbert James Draper (1863 - 1920). The painting shows an episode from Greek mythology. Icarus was the son of Daedalus who constructed the Labyrinth for King Minos of Crete to to imprison the Minotaur. Daedalus and his son Icarus were imprisoned by Minos in a tower to prevent the knowledge of the Labyrinth from spreading to the public. Daedalus created twos ets of wings so father and son could escape. Daedalus warned Icarus not to fly to close to the sun because it would melt the wax which secured the feathers. During their flight to safety Icarus forgot the warning of his father and began to soar upward toward the sun causing the wax to melt. Icarus quickly fell in the sea and drowned nearby the island Icaria (named in his honor). The painting shows the dead Icarus, surrounded by lamenting sea nymphs. Painting from 1898.

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