Herbert Draper
The Lament for Icarus exhibited 1898

Artwork details

Herbert Draper 1863–1920
The Lament for Icarus
Date Exhibited 1898
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1829 x 1556 mm
frame: 2400 x 2185 x 240 mm
Acquisition Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1898
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1900

Display caption

Icarus’s father, the inventor Daedalus, made wings that allowed them to fly away from their island prison. The exhilarated Icarus forgot warnings and soared too close to the sun, melting the wax that secured the feathers, and he fell to his death. Charles Darwin’s publication of On the Origin of Species in 1859 gave an optimistic picture of the present and future evolution of humankind, but it also introduced ideas of a deep and obscure past. Art and literature took up this theme of origins, man’s mythical history and struggles between animal and human nature.

February 2016

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