Battle of the Minotaurs (Minotauromachia)
Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, Spanish, 1881 - 1973
Explore the Collections
Picasso created this magisterial etching during a dramatic moment in his career when he had abandoned painting. He uses the Minotaur, his alter ego, to portray the turmoil in his personal life. The intensity of his affair with his mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter had provided a stimulating alternative to the stifling existence he shared with his wife, Olga Khokhlova. However, the unplanned pregnancy of Marie-Thérèse threatened to put an end to their passionate romance, and he was fearful of Olga’s anger, here represented by the snarling horse. All four women in this print possess the facial features of the youthful Marie-Thérèse: the female bullfighter, the girl with the candle, and the two spectators in the window.