Third artwork in my new series called “Myths and Monsters” which explores the topic of therianthropes (or animal/human hybrids) in various myths from around the world.
In Greek mythology, the Minotaur was a creature that was part man and part bull. Generally he is depicted with the head of a bull and the body of a man, but other depictions show him with the upper body of a man and the lower body of a bull (similar to a centaur).
The Minotaur lived in the center of the Labyrinth on the Greek island of Crete, which was an elaborate maze built for King Minos and designed to hold the Minotaur.
According to legend (and Wikipedia):
“After he ascended the throne of Crete, King Minos struggled with his brothers for the right to rule. Minos prayed to Poseidon to send him a snow-white bull, as a sign of approval. He was to sacrifice the bull in honor of Poseidon but decided to keep it instead because of its beauty. To punish Minos, Poseidon caused Pasiphaë, Minos’ wife, to fall madly in love with the bull from the sea, the Cretan Bull.5 She had Daedalus, the famous architect, make a wooden cow for her. Pasiphaë climbed into the decoy in order to copulate with the white bull. The offspring of their coupling was a monster called the Minotaur. Pasiphaë nursed him in his infancy, but he grew and became ferocious. Minos, after getting advice from the Oracle at Delphi, had Daedalus construct a gigantic labyrinth to hold the Minotaur. Its location was near Minos’ palace in Knossos.”
The Minotaur represents the male / masculine principle, animal instinct, rage, anger and the spirit of animus. He represents the id in humans.
You can view more of my artwork online at www.lynnetteshelley.com