• Humans have always dreamed of flight, of reaching the sky, touching the stars.
  • In Greek mythology, Daedalus, imprisoned by King Minos on the Island of Crete in the middle of the sea, longs for Athens, his native land.
  • To escape, Daedalus creates wings held together by wax.
  • Daedalus cautions his son, Icarus, not to fly too high or the wax could melt.
  • During their flight, Icarus, overtaken by the joy of being airborne, ignores his father's warnings and soars to dangerous heights.
  • With Daedalus watching, the sun's rays melt the wax wings, and Icarus plummets into the sea where he drowns.

The unhappy father, now no longer a father, shouted "Icarus, Icarus where are you? Which way should I be looking, to see you? Icarus!" he called again. Then he caught sight of the feathers on the waves, and cursed his inventions.

Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book 8, 183–235

Icarus had fortunate successors, and eventually people mastered the skies to the point that flying has become a common occurrence. Having overcome earth's gravity, humans have launched into space and continue to explore the heavens.

In the painting we spot a butterfly – a symbol of the dreamer's gentle soul – resting next to a winged human figure jumping off a cliff. The feather that lightly rests on the window frame is a reminder of the daring spirit of Icarus.