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Blind Minotaur Led by a Girl through the Night,
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Blind Minotaur Led by a Girl through the Night,
Minotaure aveugle guidé par une fillette dans la nuit
From the Vollard Suite, Paris, 1939

Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, Spanish, 1881 - 1973. Printed by Roger Lacourière, French, 1892 - 1966.

Made in France, Europe


Aquatint, etching, and drypoint with scraping and burnishing

Plate: 9 11/16 x 13 11/16 inches (24.6 x 34.8 cm) Sheet: 13 x 15 15/16 inches (33 x 40.5 cm)

© Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Lisa Norris Elkins Fund, 1950

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Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections

    Between 1930 and 1937 Pablo Picasso made one hundred prints for the dealer/publisher Ambroise Vollard that formed a loosely knit series of subjects revealing nuances of his personal life and his reflections on being an artist, couched in the elegiac vocabulary of Greek mythology. One thread in this timeless tale is that of the ancient minotaur, half-man, half-bull, whose paradoxical nature became Picasso's metaphor for the artist. This print shows the blind man-beast's unbridled anguish at his powerlessness as he submits to the guidance of a young girl; the transfixed stares of two sailors and the absorbed musings of a young man allude to the unspeakable tragedy of blindness for an artist. Most of the prints in the Vollard Suite are composed of spare black outlines on a white ground, but for this night scene Picasso added aquatint, a tone process creating a textured surface to hold ink on the plate. His aim was to emulate the deep blacks in the etchings of Rembrandt, one of the metaphoric figures appearing in several Vollard prints. Innis Howe Shoemkaer, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 245.