Minotaurs (half-bull, half-man hybrids from Greek mythology) and horses are fairly common characters in Picasso's work. In addition to the painting above, the wounded horse makes an appearance in Guernica, one of Picasso's most famous paintings. Both figures also pop up elsewhere in the exhibition in prints that Picasso made in the 1930s.
Bulls would have been recognized as emblems of Spain, but minotaurs represented man's irrational impulses and perhaps appropriately can be found in other works in the exhibition in orgy-like scenes. Some suggest that Picasso himself identified with this character.
In this painting, the minotaur acts as torero and aggressor, having just gored the horse in the middle of a crowded bull-fighting ring. But the turmoil in this painting might be a little more complex. It was painted at a time when Picasso was struggling with both his wife Olga and his mistress Marie-Thérèse, as well as unrest brewing in his native Spain.
39 min 14 sec ago The Art Institute of Chicago Today marks the annual celebration of the birth of the Hindu deity Krishna.
Happy Janmashtami to everyone celebrating today.
Image: The Infant Krishna Spirited Away by Vasudev, page from the Dispersed Bhagavatapurana manuscript, c. 1520-30. Delhi-Agra region, possibly Mathura, India. Everett and Ann McNear Collection
4 hours 45 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago Today marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. ARTicle celebrates the centennial with photos from our collection capturing some of America’s most awe-inspiring attractions.
8 hours 13 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago TONIGHT at 6:00—Tickets are going fast for tonight’s concert featuring folk musicians Mark Dvorak and Chris Walz. Enjoy songs of the era in celebration of the exhibition America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930s.