Monday, June 15, 2009

The Fall of Icarus

For the last few months my laptop has been the source of endless grief - one long battle against drivers and settings to get the wireless to work - a battle that was only won (if indeed it is has) by a re-start to factory settings and replacement of the motherboard.

But now it is almost recovered to where it should have been back in January, and to celebrate I've changed my desktop picture from the a Vendee Globe photo to "Landscape with the Fall of Icaras", above. Originally it was thought to be the work of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, but now that is considered doubtful.

What is most interesting about this picture is how Icarus is such a small part of the overall work. He has done something legendary - together with his father he managed to fly, soaring so high towards the sun that his wings melted, as if the gods themselves were displeased by the audacity of humans.

But all you see of him are his feet and legs in the moment of splash! before he disappears under the water for ever. The rest of the world goes on regardless, the ploughman and his horse, the shepard and his flock, and the boats sailing in the bay.

And why this picture? Well it was a clue in a competition to win a bit of modern art, the cover of the latest album from the band called "The Hours". While I didn't win anything it was great fun, and introduced me to their two albums, which have really enjoyed.

One of the best songs is called "Icarus" and the lyrics has an interesting take on the story.

Like Icarus he flew too close to the sun-
I know he fell but for a while there, he must
Have had some fun

I like that: you never know what will happen in life but give it a go, aim high, and try to have some fun on the way.


Becky Owens said...

Hi there - I liked your blog - thanks! Read some of the sailing ones as well as the art. Like your comment here about having fun! Becky

JP said...

Hi Becky,

Thanks for the comment! I have a blog contact email which is:

captainjp ( at )

Looking forward to hearing from you