Flying Too Close to the Sun

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Myths in Art from Classical to Contemporary

By James Cahill

With contributions by Richard Shone and Helen Luckett

The first major survey to reveal the ways in which Classical mythology has inspired art throughout the last 2,500 years

From the films of Woody Allen and the Coen Brothers to Margaret Atwood's books and Arcade Fire's songs, Classical Greek and Roman myths continue to be a source of cultural inspiration. The struggles of heroes, both triumphant and tragic, with gods, monsters, and fate, exert a particular grip on our imagination. Visual artists have long expressed and reworked these foundational stories. This is the first book to unite myth-inspired artworks by ancient, modern, and contemporary artists, from Botticelli and Caravaggio to Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst.

Handcover with jacket, 264 pages, 220 illustrations

Dimensions: 10 1/8 x 11 5/8 x 1 3/8 inches

"Carefully curated into striking and thought-provoking juxtapositions of works, this stunning book unites artworks old and new, highlighting not only the myths themselves but also the development of art from antiquity to present day. Seen through the lens of classical mythology, even well known artworks are shown in a new light, gaining new vigour and relevance when seen alongside modern and contemporary art." —

"Wide-ranging in scope yet highly accessible, Cahill's dynamic study serves as a great introduction to mythology by way of art history and vice versa." — Publishers Weekly Online