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On view


Artist: Peter Malone (American, born 1950)

Date: 2002
Medium: Oil on canvas, with wood
Overall: 26 × 80 1/16in. (66 × 203.4cm)
Markings: Verso, middle panel, top (black ink): PeterM / "DAEDALUS" 2002
Inscribed: Verso, middle panel, top (black ink): PeterM / "DAEDALUS" 2002
Credit Line: Anonymous Gift
Object number: 2003.8
Label Text
In ancient Greek mythology, the story of Daedalus, Icarus, Theseus and the Minotaur is a wild affair. Daedalus was a clever architect who designed the Labyrinth (a maze) for King Minos, who ruled the island of Crete. Minos imprisoned the ferocious Minotaur, a half-human/half-bull, in the Labyrinth.

When Minos’ only son died in Athens, the King exacted revenge by capturing the state and demanding the sacrifice of fourteen young men and women to the Minotaur. When the Athenian hero Theseus was to be sacrificed, Minos’ daughter Ariadne begged Daedalus to show him the secret of escape, which he did. When Minos discovered Daedalus’ treachery, he banished him and his son, Icarus, to the Labyrinth. Daedalus conspired to escape by flying out of the maze and off the island. He fashioned wings of feathers and wax, but warned his son not to fly too close to the sun, for the wax would melt. Alas, the rash youth did not heed his father’s advice and, in the throes of freedom, flew too high and eventually plunged into the sea. The Icarus myth is a cautionary tale about humankind’s aspirations and limitations.

Mary E. Murray
Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art
© Peter Malone