During the early 1960s, Gilot explored the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. As Theseus ventures into the den—or le repaire—of the Minotaur, he began to see that the quest is a journey to one's own self-discovery. Françoise Gilot's choice of title for the present work, a reference to Theseus' journey, could be seen as potentially autobiographical. Picasso often portrayed himself as a Minotaur in paintings, drawings and etchings, and this period marked a revisiting of this life-altering relationship for Gilot. During the early 1960s, Gilot alternated her days between painting and working on the manuscript for Life with Picasso, which was published in 1964. In the process of writing such a figurative book exploring her decade-long relationship with Picasso, Gilot likely required interludes of abstraction for balance while revisiting their tumultuous relationship.