The young aviator to be is getting instructions. His father, Daedalus, made two sets of wings out of feathers and wax. One set for himself and one for his son Icarus. They are forbidden to leave Crete. Daedalus had built a labyrinth for his master, king Minos. Now Minos wants to protect the secrets of the labyrinth by keeping the architect prisoner. So Daedalus came up with a cunning plan. They will escape by flying away. This is obviously not an easy thing to do. There are plenty of risks involved. Daedalus is explaining to his son that you should not fly to low or spray from the sea will make the wings wet and to heavy to fly. Flying to high will get you to close to the sun. Then the sun will melt the wax and you will crash. Of course the young man didn’t listen. He got too excited and flew to high, only to fall to his death near an island that was then named Ikaria or Icaria and the sea he fell into the Icarian sea. This is a very long way from Crete so we have to admit, the wings worked. Eventually Daedalus would fly all the way to Sicily. The moral of the story is obvious. Always listen to your father. Or do you think there are other lessons to be learnt here?
Daedalus and Icarus, Anthony van Dyck, 1615-1625, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto.
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