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Details & Cataloguing

Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art

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London

Simeon Solomon
1840 - 1905
ICARUS
signed with initials and dated l.r.: SS/ 1887
coloured chalk with pencil
35 by 26cm., 14 by 10in.
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Provenance

Sotheby’s, London, 9 June 1994, lot 209 as ‘An Angel’ and bought by Seymour Stein

Catalogue Note

The presence of the ocean and the garland of laurel leaves identifies the winged figure in this drawing as Icarus, son of Daedalus. Daedalus designed the Minoan labyrinth and was imprisoned with his son to prevent them revealing the design but they escaped by devising wings to fly from the island. Behind the boy’s head is not the halo of an angel but the burning orb of the sun which will melt the wax that bound the feathers of Icarus’ wings and lead to his downfall. Solomon would have known Leighton’s depiction of Icarus preparing to take flight painted in 1869 (Faringdon Collection, Buscot Park, Oxfordshire) in which the pose of Icarus is very similar.

Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art

|
London