The mythical Minotaur—part man, part bull—was Picasso's alter ego in the 1930s and part of a broader exploration of Classicism that persisted in his work for many years. The Minotaur was also emblematic for Surrealists, who saw it as the personification of forbidden desires. For Picasso it expressed complex emotions at a time of personal turmoil. The Minotaur symbolized lasciviousness, violence, guilt, and despair.
Gallery label from Picasso: Variations and Themes, March 28–September 30, 2010.