This is the second time I’ve seen you share it, and the title of the post made me look at it a little harder. Thank you for pointing out the ship. It made me wonder whether the minotaur just noticed it by chance or if he runs out to that balcony to watch ships all the time.
Why, in your opinion, is it the greatest? For aesthetic reasons, or? Is it perhaps because the Minotaur, the monster of the labyrinth, is crushing the bird under his hand as though he is enraged by its ability to fly, jealous of its freedom while he himself is longing to be similar? To venture a guess, it is perhaps a humanizing, and therefore even all the more disturbing, picture of something that haunts the halls of captivity. His desire to be free makes him hate freedom. The ‘friend’ in our ‘enemy’ is what makes him even more dangerous?
Sure, but where’s the boat? I find the idea of a minotaur staring at a sinking boat with bemused curiosity much more interesting than him looking at a regular boat. Bemused contemplation of a point on the shore is also more compelling than a regular sail boat.
The bird makes me think of daedelus and icarus who were allowed to escape/almost escape the minotaur’s labyrinth by means of artificial wings.
Crushing the bird may then give the minotaur a sense of its failure (to have let men escape), its power (to crush those who would be free), and its limitations (to never itself be free) all at once. The “free” people he sees on the ship are being sent to his labyrinth for him to crush, but he will never be able to leave crete. His jealousy turns to spite and he crushes his desire like the bird. He then looks at the boat longingly in two senses: He wants to be them; he wants to crush them.