Charles Lebrun

Daedalus and Icarus

Daedalus and Icarus
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Author: Charles Lebrun
Painting, Oil on canvas, 190x124 cm
Origin: France, Circa 1645/46

Charles Lebrun was one of the founders of the Academy in Paris. He painted this work in Italy, during the early period of his creative life. The subject tells of the famous inventor Daedalus, who made wings for himself and his son Icarus in order to escape from incarceration in a tower. Skilfully fitted into the space, the figures are shown in complex foreshortening, creating a dynamic composition reinforc through sharp contrasts of light and shade. The colouring, from the cold greenish-blue of the thundery sky and the warm golden-brown draperies, throwing reflections on the white body of Icarus, contributes to the emotional nature of the scene. The dramatic subject, treated with considerable realism, and the powerful modelling bear witness of the artist's close study of the work of Caravaggio and the masters of the Bologna Academy.

Personage: Daedalus
Style: Classicism
Source of entry: Collection of Sir Robert Walpole, Houghton Hall, 1779
Theme: Classical Religion and Mythology
Exibition: French Art: 15th - 18th centuries

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