Landscape with the Fall of Icarus by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus - Pieter Bruegel - c.1560

Artwork Information

TitleLandscape with the Fall of Icarus
ArtistPieter Bruegel
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions73.5 x 112 cm
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationRoyal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels, Belgium
Location Created Milan, Italy

About Landscape with the Fall of Icarus

“Landscape with the Fall of Icarus,” created by Pieter Bruegel around 1560, is a mythological painting executed in oil on canvas. Placed within the Northern Renaissance art movement, the artwork measures 73.5 by 112 cm. Contrary to the Artwork Series provided which pertains to a different set of works, this particular piece belongs to no specific series. It can be found at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, located in Brussels, Belgium. Although the given creation location is Milan, Italy, this information does not historically align with the known biographical details of Bruegel.

The artwork reveals a sprawling and detailed landscape, embracing a wide vista with the sea and ships in the distance. The scene portrays various figures involved in their daily tasks, notably a ploughman, a shepherd, and a fisherman, who are singularly absorbed in their work, unmindful of the tragedy unfolding. True to the title, the work subtly incorporates the tiny figure of Icarus plunging into the sea with his melted wings, while life on the shore continues unaffected. This element is positioned near the bottom right corner of the painting, nearly overlooked amidst the larger mundane activities of the countryside. The grandeur of the landscape and the insignificance of Icarus’ fall are a poignant comment on the human condition, typical of Bruegel’s sophisticated thematics and moral observations.

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