CANOVA, Antonio
(b. 1757, Possagno, d. 1822, Venezia)

Daedalus and Icarus

Marble, 200 x 95 x 97 cm
Museo Correr, Venice

This youthful work comes from the Palazzo Pisani in Venice, it was commissioned by the Procurator Pietro Vettor Pisani. The two protagonists of the tragic myth related by Ovid are delicately depicted at one of the most melancholy moments: when the aged Daedalus applies the waxen wings to the shoulders of Icarus, unmindful of his tragic end. Seized by enthusiasm for flight, the youth soars too near the sun, which melts the waxen wings. At the feet of the figures Canova represented the tools used to carve marble, a detail justified by Daedalus's craft, but also an allusion to Sculpture, of which this statue is an allegory.