Pieter Bruegel's

Bruegel the Elder’s painting depicts the famous passage from Book VIII of Ovid’s Metamorphoses in which Daedalus, the father of Icarus, provides his son with feathered wings, glued together, and warns him not to fly to close to the sun, for he will be burned, and not to fly to close to the water, for he will drown. The boy does not listen; flies too high; the glue begins to melt; and he plummets to the water in which he drowns. The moral can be understood as moderation as the key to living a successful and fruitful life.
What I am most interested in is why does Bruegel paint an interpretation of this famous passage; yet, as opposed to placing Icarus in the foreground, Icarus is placed off to the side. Why concentrate on this Greek Myth but place the workers of the present day (~1560) in the foreground, and the classical mythological component, whom the painting is based on, off to the side? What is Bruegel the Elder trying to convey? The painting can easily be found with a basic search of the title. What do you believe was the theme Pieter Bruegel’s aesthetic piece was attempting to communicate to onlookers?

  • Tower of Babel? – Tigey 8 years ago
  • My title was completely re-worked by one of the editors, I guess? It was supposed to be Icarus as depicted in Ovid, and Pieter Bruegel the Elder's "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus," (~1560) {Worded much more eloquently than that, but when reading the topic, you get the gist of the idea :-)} – danielle577 8 years ago

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