Sophocles chose to make each tragedy a complete entity in itself--as a result, he had to pack all of his action into the shorter form, and this clearly offered greater dramatic possibilities.
By the age of sixteen, he was already known for his beauty and grace and was chosen to lead a choir of boys at a celebration of the victory of Salamis in 480 BC.
Picasso scholar Brigitte Baer argues that Picasso’s Blind Minotaur is in fact a conflation of two myths: Oedipus and the Minotaur (Picasso the Printmaker: Graphics from the Marina Picasso Collection, Dallas Museum of Art, 1983, 89-91). Oedipus, of course, blinded himself after learning the truth about his incestuous relationship with his mother. Here, the Minotaur is equally maimed by the guilt of his extramarital affair. His mistress Marie-Thérèse, who is now a little girl, takes the place of Antigone, Oedipus’ daughter who led the sightless king to Athens, where he would die in Theseus’s arms (interestingly, the deaths of both figures were attended by Theseus, the founder-king of Athens, who slayed the Minotaur and provided solace to Oedipus in his last days). The combined symbolism suggests that Picasso intuited that his relationship with her would result in a death of sorts, and indeed, within a year his life changed completely.
A different Antigone was the daughter of Eurytion, the king of Phthia and wife of Peleus. Peleus along with his brother, Telamon, killed their half-brother Phocus and ran away to escape from punishment.
Antigone was the daughter of King Oedipus of Thebes and Jocasta. The story says, Oedipus, the son of Laius and Jocasta killed his father Laius and became the king of Thebes. Oedipus unknowingly married his own mother Jocasta and had children by her. Thus, Antigone was the daughter and the sister of Oedipus.
Oedipus soon discovered that Laius and Jocasta were his true parents. Jocasta, in depression hanged herself. Oedipus blinded himself with her broaches and left the city. Creon (Jocasta's brother) took care of Jocasta's daughters namely Antigone and Ismene and sons, namely Polyneices and Eteocles.
In Phthia, Peleus was purified by the king Eurytion and married Antigone, Eurytion's daughter. During hunting, Peleus accidentally killed Eurytion and ran away from Phthia. Again, Acastus purified Peleus. In Lolcus, Peleus lost a wrestling match in the funeral games of Pelias, Acastus' father, to Atalanta. Astydameia, Acastus' wife, fell in love with Peleus but he scorned her. She informed Antigone that Peleus was to marry Acastus' daughter; Antigone hanged herself.
Picasso conveys a sense of chaos and emotional desperation in these powerful prints; the tables have completely turned on the lovers who cavorted, relaxed, and swooned in the “Sculptor’s Studio” and “Minotaur” etchings. Here, the sculptor/Minotaur, who once dominated the relationship, is helpless and blind. The sensual and submissive model is now an innocent and self-assured little girl who leads him through a complex landscape near the shore, in both day and night, fair weather and foul. Though he was a fearsome beast in earlier plates, the Minotaur is regarded with a look of concern and pity from the sailors he passes. Likewise, the viewers are moved to pathos for this mythical beast that once provoked disgust.
Sophocles also effected a transformation in the spirit and significance of a tragedy; thereafter, although religion and morality were still major dramatic themes, the plights, decisions and fates of individuals became the chief interest of Greek tragedy.
Sophocles's CharactersSophocles' Plays:
The four plates that comprise the “Blind Minotaur” series within the Suite Vollard, a subset of the fifteen Minotaur images, are among the most fascinating prints in Picasso’s oeuvre. Though they share the same elements—the blinded mythical beast, a young girl who resembles his mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter, a passive young sailor, and a sailboat with two fishermen—each is a distinct exploration of the theme using varying techniques, symbolism, and modes of representation.
Established in 1974, John Szoke Gallery specializes in works on paper with a focus on prints by Pablo Picasso and Edvard Munch. For over 40 years, the gallery has continually worked with dealers, collectors and museums worldwide to build collections of rare quality prints and drawings.
"...think not that when we herein speak of “common” and “noble” that these be permanent conditions of individuals.... rather, they should be considered ever-changing and changeable states of mind, habit and character..."