How Did Pieter Brueghel Landscape With The Fall Of Icarus

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Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, was painted during the 1560s by Dutch painter Pieter Brueghel. It is currently on display at the Museum David and Alice van Buren in Brussels, Belgium. Pieter Brueghel is one of the most famous Flemish artists and is often considered one of the Old Masters of European art. His artwork focuses on landscapes and views of peasant life. Brueghel’s work of art, Landscape with the fall of Icarus, was influenced by the Protestant Reformation movement, inspired by a Greek myth, and demonstrates humankind's’ indifference to suffering. The Landscape with the Fall of Icarus was painted towards the end of the Renaissance. The Protestant Reformation, which began during the mid 1510s and extended to the mid 1640s, was…show more content…
An old fisherman focuses on fishing, a weary shepherd tending to his sheep, and a tired plowman concentrating on working his fields and all the while, a boy, Icarus drowns in the waters of the Mediterranean. Interestingly enough, all of the figures’ facial expressions, including Icarus, are either not shown or blank, but they are all focused on their work. The exception to this being the shepherd, who looks towards the sky, noticing Daedalus and Icarus, as they flew overhead in their feather and wax wings. This suggests a lack of emotion or the desire to remain detached from the suffering of Icarus. Karl Kilinski II, an acclaimed art history professor at Southern Methodist University, agrees with this when he says, “Brueghel has his spectators ignore the desperate cry of the boy, transforming the emphasis on his hushed plea for help onto an apathetic silence from the peasants and seamen,” (Kilinski II 1). This quote about the painting shows that Brueghel intentionally painted his characters in the painting to make human nature’s selfish ability of running away from others suffering the motif of the painting. Robert L. Randall, a writer for the Journal of Religion and Health, agrees, and says that, “Breughel’s work suggests the tendency of individuals to ignore the suffering of others in favor of absorbing their own agendas” (Randall 1). This is proven true upon closer examination of the painting because all of the characters and the ship are looking away and going away from Icarus. It’s not as if they didn’t hear Icarus go down with a splash because it’s literally impossible to not notice a boy fall from the sky and then drown. In the background of the painting, there is a Cretan port city, portrayed in an off-white with a dash of pink color. Located in the top right part of the background is the rocky, mountainous cliffs typical of the Greek

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