The delicacy and control are masterful, as is his 'reclamation' of two myths and -- by his choice of theme and the delicacy and control with which he has handled it -- making triumph out of tragedy.
Compare it, for example, with Herbert Draper's Lament for Icarus, and see how Michael has made of the Icarus story a triumph, a "giant step for mankind." Said author and philosopher Stephen Hicks when first seeing Icarus Landing:
"…[A]bout the Icarus painting: The colors and composition are superb. His body seems real -- the arms especially -- like he actually is in the act of alighting. And the thematic elements are so rich --reversing both the Greek and Christian messages: success following boldness rather than failure following boldness; and a quietly confident success rather than suffering and sacrifice.
"Looking at Icarus, I had a passing thought that you did for the Icarus legend what Rand's character Richard Halley did [in making of] the Phaethon legend [a triumph]. And afterwards I was reminded of Susan's [McCloskey] lectures...in which she explained how Rand was aware of the epic figures and forms from the two major traditions in western civilization, the Greco-Roman and the Judeo-Christian, as exemplified in the characters of Odysseus and Jesus, and how with her characters in Atlas Shrugged Rand both incorporated and transcended those traditions. Your Icarus does that with the substance and symbolism of the Greek Icarus and the Christian crucifixion. Incredible." [Stephen Hicks, Ph.D., Philosopher and Author of Explaining Postmodernism.]Incredible? It sure is. I find that as you study it (especially if you open the image see it as large as you can) , your eye changes from at one moment seeing the figure just hanging by its arms, and the next gently descending in space, and under complete control.
That really is mastery in paint.
LINK: Figurative Art at RomanticRealiam.Net
RELATED POSTS ON: Art, Objectivism