Superstock/Artists Rights Society

Sentenced to a life of celibacy and isolation, the minotaur could also serve as a potent symbol of sexual longing—as in this 1936 study entitled Minotaur Caressing a Woman. Many of Picasso’s minotaur works depict the monster as engaged in a sometimes violent, sometimes tender quest for intimacy and sexual fulfillment. While the minotaur himself is clearly delineated, the object of his desire is almost always portrayed in Picasso’s characteristically abstract, minimalist style.