Lot 33
  • 33

Pablo Picasso

150,000 - 200,000 GBP
458,500 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Pablo Picasso
  • Tête de Minotaure aveugle
  • dated Boisgeloup 23 septembre XXXIV (lower left)
  • pencil on paper


Estate of the artist (inv. 3862)

Marina Picasso (the artist's granddaughter; by descent from the above)

Acquired from the above by the late owner


New York, Paul Rosenberg & Co. & Geneva, Galerie Jan Krugier, The Primacy of Design, Major Drawings from the Marina Picasso Collection, 1983, no. 45, illustrated in the catalogue

Miami, Center for the Fine Arts, Picasso at Work at Home (Selections from the Marina Picasso Collection), 1985-86, no. 69, illustrated in the catalogue

Japan, Musées d'Art Yomiuri Shimbun Sha, Exposition Pablo Picasso, Collection Marina Picasso, 1986-87, no. D-40, illustrated in the catalogue

Geneva, Musée Rath & Paris, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Regards sur Minotaure, 1988, no. 233, illustrated in the catalogue

New York, Jan Krugier Gallery, Tauromaquia, Works by Pablo Picasso, Photographs by L. Clergue, 1991

Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preussischer Kulturbesitz,  Linie, Licht und Schatten. Meisterzeichnungen und Skulpturen der Sammlung Jan und Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski, 1999, no. 135, illustrated in colour in the catalogue

Venice, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, The Timeless Eye. Master Drawings from the Jan and Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski Collection,1999, no. 148, illustrated in colour in the catalogue

Madrid, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Picasso Minotauro, 2000-01, no. 42, illustrated in the catalogue

Bern, Kunstmuseum, Picasso und die Schweiz, 2001-02, no. 109, illustrated in the catalogue

Paris, Musée Jacquemart-André, La Passion du Dessin. Collection Jan et Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski, 2002, no. 160, illustrated in colour in the catalogue

Vienna, Albertina, Goya bis Picasso. Meisterwerke der Sammlung Jan Krugier und Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski, 2005, no. 155, illustrated in colour in the catalogue

Munich, Hypo-Kulturstiftung, Das Ewige Auge - Von Rembrandt bis Picasso. Meisterwerke aus der Sammlung Jan Krugier und Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski, 2007, no. 186, illustrated in colour in the catalogue

Zaragoza, Museo de Zaragoza, Goya y el mundo moderno, 2008-09, no. 205, illustrated in colour in the catalogue


Brigitte Baer & Bernhard Geiser, Picasso peintre-graveur, Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre gravé et des monotypes 1932-1934,  Bern, 1992, vol. II, mentioned p. 309

Picassos Surrealismus, Werke 1925-1937 (exhibition catalogue), Kunsthalle, Bielefeld, 1991, no. 80a, illustrated p. 341

Catalogue Note

Tête de Minotaure aveugle, executed on 23rd September 1934, is a powerful and highly articulate drawing of Picasso’s most emblematic theme. Discussing the present work and the importance of the Minotaur within Picasso’s œuvre Gert Schiff has written: ‘The Blind Minotaur is Picasso’s second variation on the ancient myth. This motif is depicted in three etchings and one aquatint, dating from 22nd September until mid-November 1934, and in several preparatory drawings, which the artist kept for himself’. Schiff further explains that Picasso ‘conflates the Minotaur legend with the myth of Oedipus who, to atone for his archetypal crimes of killing his father and marrying his mother, has blinded himself, and is guided by his daughter, Antigone’ (G. Schiff, Picasso At Work At Home (exhibition catalogue), op. cit., p. 79). Picasso’s reinvention of these two legends is, typically, personalised and even autobiographical. The incestuous implication made by his use of Marie-Thérèse as the light-bearing Antigone, and his own personification as the Minotaur hint at the underlying problems he faced at home in 1934. Marie-Thérèse was seriously ill, and Picasso had abandoned her to travel to Spain with his wife and son. The anguish and atonement evident in this drawing and the other works from this series suggest Picasso’s awareness of his own duplicity, as Schiff writes: ‘In a projection of his own self into the mythical monster, he seeks redemption with the innocent child-woman for the suffering he himself has inflicted upon her. On a more general level – and this is forcibly conveyed by the agonised expression in our drawing – the Blind Minotaur is Man, groping his way in the dark, and crying out the pain of his unredeemed double nature, between god and brute’ (ibid., p. 79).