Minotaur as Calf
Michael Ayrton (British, 1921 – 1975)
DimensionsPlate : 15 5/8 x 21 1/2 in. (39.69 x 54.61 cm)
Mat : 30 x 36 in. (76.2 x 91.44 cm)
Sheet : 33 x 25 in. (83.82 x 63.5 cm)
Credit LineHope College Collection, purchased with funds donated by Mr. and Mrs. George Strumbos
LabelHere, Queen Pasiphaë prepares to lead the young Minotaur into the maze-like Labyrinth for the first time. The name Labyrinth is related to the word labrys, a double-bladed axe-shaped object that symbolized royal power and female divinity in ancient Cretan culture. Ayrton reminds us of this etymological connection by showing Pasiphaë holding a labrys in her right hand while her left hand holds a length of string that she will use to find her way out of the maze after leaving the Minotaur inside.