The work is a diptych that reflects my impressions of two of Pablo Picasso’s etchings dating from 1934-35. Both of these are dedicated to the half-man and half-bull ancient mythical figure of the Minotaur– “the bull of Minos” – a creature born as a result of the union between Pasiphaë (wife of King Minos) and a bull. Later – and also in Ovid’s Metamorphoses – King Minos of Crete imprisons the Minotaur in a labyrinth built by Daedalus and his son Icarus. The bestial creature is eventually killed by Theseus. During his intense creative process Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) usually worked in series, thus focusing on specific themes. The figure of the Minotaur was a recurrent theme in the artist’s iconography, figuring as a sort of alter-ego of the artist.
The first movement, Minotaure aveugle guidé dans la nuit par une petite fille (Blind Minotaur guided by a little girl at night) is characterized by its nocturnal atmosphere and sense of abandonment. Here, the blind Minotaur is represented by the cello, the little girl by the piano. The little girl’s melody emerges in the piano later in the movement, leading the Minotaur through the night. The figures of the beast and the little girl are developed in contrast with each other.
La Minotauromachie is one of the most celebrated etchings by Picasso dedicated to the figure of “the bull of Minos” and it depicts simultaneous actions and themes. The figure of the Minotaur and the little girl reappear within a more dense and confined context. The second movement of the diptych evolves around a particular flamenco cycle (bulerias). Although the music undergoes a process of deconstruction in which the rhythmic cycle (12 beats) is continuously broken, the cycle remains as the underlying structure of the entire movement, endowing it with a semi-rondo quality. This movement is built in opposition to the first regarding space and process; while the first movement is open and horizontal, the second is more confined and vertical in its structure.