Draper’s most famous painting depicts Icarus from Greek mythology having fallen to earth, surrounded by nymphs after his wax wings melted when he flew too close to the sun. In the image we can see the wings are still attached so Draper may not have read the story too carefully.
The Lament for Icarus
183 x 155.6 cm
Date of work
Oil paint on canvas 183 x 155.6 cm
Born in London, Draper attended the Royal Academy and won the Gold Medal and a Travelling Studentship in 1889, enabling him to study in Rome and Paris. He was a classicist, painting romantic, literary and historical subjects and focussing on mythological themes from ancient Greece. He worked as an illustrator in London and decorated the ceiling at Draper’s Hall and the nurses’ canteen at Guy’s Hospital. He later became famous for his portraits but in his last years his popularity faded. There has been a recent revival of interest in his work.