In the work of the outstanding painter there were periods associated with specific characters. One of these characters was the hero of ancient Greek myths - the Minotaur. A huge man with the head of a bull and the heart of a beast lived in the Labyrinth on the island of Crete, served King Minos, and ate living people.
Once the hero of Theseus was sent to him to be eaten. The guy was ready to say goodbye to life, he did not know the way out of the maze, but Ariadne (daughter of Minos) gave him a guiding thread that could lead out of the maze. Theseus escaped and fled from Crete. Many legends have been written about his future life, they have written more than one work of art, created dozens of paintings.
Picasso is not attracted by the hero himself, but by his opponent - the Minotaur. The artist creates a series of paintings, the main character of which becomes the Minotaur. The impetus for creating the image of the Minotaur was personal and public turmoil. This is the civil war in Spain, and parting with his wife, and the pregnancy of his mistress. The image of the minotaur arose in March 1936 after visiting the town of Juan-les-Pins in France.
The Minotaur in the image of Picasso symbolizes the duality inherent in all people. It is most clearly manifested in the painting "The Minotaur with a Dead Horse in Front of the Cave", written in 1953.
With incredible accuracy, the artist depicts lust and cruelty, detachment, despair and pain. Smiling at the girl next to him, the Minotaur squeezes a dead horse in his mighty hands, and invites the girl to come up with an inviting gesture of his hand to enjoy the spectacle presented. The young beauty is scared, those who are in the cave are no less horrified. The fact that the Minotaur and the girl are not alone is evidenced by a pair of hands, visible in the left corner of the picture.
Creating more and more images of the Minotaur, the artist is trying to show all the depravity and pettiness of this world. The Minotaur is the spirit of the times, a symbolic representation of a bull-headed man.
Guernica Pablo Picasso