3-Masted Ship with Daedalus and Icarus in the Sky

Frans Huys, Pieter Bruegel the Elder1561

Naval Museum

Naval Museum
Madrid, Spain

This engraving comes from a series of 10 produced by Flemish engraver Frans Huys, based on drawings and compositions by Pieter Bruegel the Elder.

The series shows a variety of ships in groups or alone in different situations. Some of them, including this one, show mythological events: this is the story of how Icarus and his father, Daedalus, tried to flee the island of Crete using wax wings designed by the latter. Icarus, carried away with the fun of the flight, flew too close to the sun which melted his wings, leaving him to plummet to the ground.

Pieter Bruegel's fascination for ships and the maritime world may have been born from his hometown, Antwerp: one of the main commercial ports in Europe and home to some of the most prominent explorers and merchants.

Frans Huys, who worked for Christopher Plantin, a French printer and engraver based in Antwerp, also collaborated with Hieronymus Cock: an engraver and one of the main figures in the development of the Italian Renaissance in Northern Europe. Cock published the engravings of Huys that are now held by institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the British Museum, and the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam.


  • Title: 3-Masted Ship with Daedalus and Icarus in the Sky
  • Creator: Frans Huys after Pieter Bruegel
  • Date Created: 1561
  • Location Created: Belgium
  • Type: Print
  • Original Source: Museo Naval, Madrid.
  • Rights: Museo Naval, Madrid-All rights reserved
  • Medium: Ink
  • Width: 29cm
  • Height: 22cm

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