Minotaur as Calf


Artist
Michael Ayrton (British, 1921 – 1975)
Date
1971
Medium
Etching
Dimensions
Plate : 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 Line
Hope College Collection, purchased with funds donated by Mr. and Mrs. George Strumbos
Object Number
1988.2.5

Label
Here, 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.

Object Type
Print
Academic Themes
Greek and Roman Myths