Minotaur Full-Grown


Artist
Michael Ayrton (British, 1921 – 1975)
Date
1971
Medium
Etching
Dimensions
Plate : 21 1/2 x 13 1/2 in. (54.61 x 34.29 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
1988.2.9

Label
The full-grown Minotaur was a tremendously powerful creature, ruled by his desires and prone to extreme violence. To appease him, King Minos regularly sent groups of young men and women into the Labyrinth to serve as sacrificial offerings, but killing these human victims only increased the Minotaur’s sadness and anger. As the character Daedalus observes of the Minotaur in Ayrton’s novel The Maze Maker: “He is not humanly intelligent, but he is also less simple than his animal nature, so that his reflexes are not so certain as a bull’s. He is capable of enough thought to frustrate his impulses. His urge to murder is not a lust but his response to the uncertainty by which, so far as his slow brain permits, he is tormented.” This print depicts the Minotaur contemplating a potential victim with just such a mixture of menace and uncertainty.

Object Type
Print
Academic Themes
Greek and Roman Myths