Herbert James Draper's 1898 canvas Lament for Icarus is a stirring and poignant work of English classicism, which rose above its contemporaries when first exhibited. A dramatic reproduction of the Greek myth of Icarus, the son of Daedalus who, when testing his father's wax-and-feather wings, went against all advice and flew too close to the sun. The wax melted and the resulting tragedy saw the ambitious young man plummet to his death in the sea. In Draper's vision of the scene Icarus lays spread in a helpless and heroic fashion surrounded by the mourning and languid personae of nymphs. Nowhere to be seen, his father is markedly absent, separating inventor from pilot. Clearly, in the world of the frame the catastrophe has only recently occurred. In his isolation, comforted only by his fellow figures of myth Draper's Icarus is a distinctly Pre-Raphaelite hero, a tragic figure leaving a beautiful parting scene.
First exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1898, Lament for Icarus won the gold medal at the Exposition Universelle of 1900 in Paris. Although of a generation influenced by the seminal works of the French Impressionists, Draper's canvas would not have appeared out of place at the Paris Salon some two decades before. Yet the artist's decision to use the human body as a vessel for transmitting highly-charged emotive responses taps into a firmly late-Victorian trend in sculpture, literature, painting and poetry. Without doubt the artist's most popular picture, this imagined reproduction of a dramatic and memorable moment in classical mythology resonates with the tastes and trends of Draper's own present day. Inspired by the flourishes of Edward Burne-Jones, Lament for Icarus was to become one of the artist's last mythological studies, as the popularity of the theme was decisively on the wane by the turn of the century. As one of the final manifestations of Victorian melodrama in painting, Lament for Icarus is a truly iconic work.
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Important Notes About Your Painting:
If you have any request to alter your reproduction of Lament for Icarus, you must email us after placing your order and we'll have an artist contact you. If you have another image of Lament for Icarus that you would like the artist to work from, please include it as an attachment. Otherwise, we will reproduce the above image for you exactly as it is.
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Depending on the degree of damage to the warranted painting, it will either be repaired or replaced. This warranty service is provided free of charge.