Fall of Icarus

Josef Šíma

Josef Šíma - Fall of Icarus
Josef Šíma reacted to the tense pre−war situation by works with subjects derived from Greek mythology. These include three paintings entitled The Fall of Icarus from 1936. Šíma adopted the motif of the knee−bent legs of the drowning Icarus from a painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Characteristically, Šíma transposed the scene into an inland setting. Icarus is not drowning in the sea, but in a Mácha−esque pool that is related to the artist’s childhood memories of the environs of Jaroměř. Instead of the town’s architecture seen in a very low worm’s−eye view, he featured a white crystal set on top of a green hill, with a triangular body of water place opening below. It is precisely into this black water of death or of the unconscious that Icarus fell. Contrasting with the fall into nothingness is the luminous triangle in the foreground reflecting the sky and the summit of the white crystal. Šíma regarded the relationship of white and black as being the primary example of the clash of opposites. The silhouette of the radio transmitter underscored the topicality of the myth in modern times.
measurements: height 670 mm
width 410 mm
in collections:
material: paper
technique: gouache
inventory number: K 43452
gallery collection: Collection of Prints and Drawings
licence: copyrighted work

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