"Landscape with the Fall of Icarus" is a painting in oil on canvas long thought to be by Pieter Bruegel. Following technical examinations in 1996, it was is regarded as a good early copy by an artist in the circle of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, perhaps painted in the 1560s. Recent technical research has re-opened the question and is now again thought to be Pieter Bruegel's original.
In Greek mythology, Icarus succeeded in flying, with wings made by his father Daedalus, using feathers secured with wax. Ignoring his father's warnings, Icarus chose to fly too close to the sun, melting the wax. He fell into the sea and drowned. His legs can be seen in the water just below the ship. The ploughman, shepherd and angler are mentioned in Ovid's account of the legend; they are: "astonished and think to see gods approaching them through the aether", which is not entirely the impression given in the painting. The shepherd gazing into the air, away from the ship, may be explained by another version of the composition; in the original work there was probably also a figure of Daedalus in the sky to the left, at which he stares.
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