Picasso’s Bull

During the 1930’s Picasso adopted the classical Grecian Minotaur as a personal symbol, because he could somehow relate to that half-man half-beast. In images from that time, the Minotaur was removed from it’s comfortable dark labyrinth where it fed on children, out into the sun to live with the rest of us. The Vollard Suite shows the Minotaur as a lover, fighter, drinker and victim, but it always seems somehow disoriented. The Minotaur is often a sad and pathetic beast too, blind and out of place, begging for help from the children it used to torment.

After a time, images of the Minotaur became less common and were replaced with a bull. Perhaps Picasso gave in completely to that animal inside. Picasso was a huge fan of bull-fights and, even though you’d sometimes see the bull dead or dying, more often in his paintings the bull would charge right through the Matador and horse, leaving destruction and blood behind.

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