I remember learning about this painting when I was in High School. I was in literature class when I came across this artwork. The painting is about human indifference.
If you look closely at the painting at the bottom right you’ll notice a drowning man. But our eyes don’t notice that at first. We’re more focused on the ships, the shepherd tending to his flock, and the beautiful prosperous city.
It’s sad that we didn’t notice the drowning man at first. All of this is to emphasize that life goes on. It really shows us that when we mess up no one will be looking or caring very much. The neglect of Icarus’s tragedy is terrifying and says a lot about humans. That mankind is selfish when we’re supposed to be caring and loving.
We spend so much of our lives fearing for our reputations, status and wondering what others will think of us when we fail.
“We lie awake at night wondering how we could cope without the approval of people we don’t like very much. We surrender our freedom to the verdicts of strangers. Our tragedies don’t occupy society the way we fear they will. A few people might notice for a moment, then swiftly move on to the next thing. We are at the center of the galaxy only in our own minds.”
This painting always reminds me to do what is right for me. To focus on me and less on what others think of me.
I hope you will do the same thing too.