The Minotaur – George Frederic Watts

Don't you get it when your delivery of 7 virgins and 7 youths is late because UPS won't deliver to your island. All you can do is stand in your tower looking out to sea, hopeful that what ever secondary delivery company they have farmed it out to will turn up soon.

Watt's captures the power of the Minotaur along with the magnitude of loneliness that is felt by an outcast in this tremendously unassuming painting.

What you see is the Minotaur eagerly awaiting the tribute of virgins and children that he would receive yearly for him to devour. His muscular body highlighted by the yellow hues of the sunlight on his back. The great hoof like hands crushing an allegory of innocence and purity – a white bird, in his anticipation of the sacrifice.

The story of the Minotaur is a twisted one. Minos had fought vehemently against his brother for the throne of Crete. Praying to Poseidon, Minos requested that he send a snowy white bull as a symbol of support. His prayers where answered and he won the throne. Poseidon had deemed that the bull be sacrificed on his successful defeat of Minos' brother to show honour to the deity, but Minos was so taken with the bull because it was so beautiful he didn't think Poseidon would mind if he killed a regular bull in its place….now I hope we all know it's a bad idea to go against a gods wishes….it only ends in tears. When Poseidon realised what had happened, his was not happy. To punish Minos, Poseidon made Pasiphaë fall deeply in love with the bull.

Pasiphaë, had Daedalus make her a hollow wooden cow that she could get in to in order to mate with the bull (what ever floats your boat), thus she fell pregnant with the monstrous offspring, the Minotaur.

Despite Pasiphaë nursing bull boy and trying to bring him up in a normal way, he grew up ferocious, and with no natural nourishment began to devour humans to gain the required sustenance. Minos sought the oracle at Delphi, and on the advice given had Daedalus create a labyrinth to hold the beast. This was based near his palace at Knossos.

During this time, Minos' other son, Androgeus was killed by the Athenians. This really got to Minos and he waged terrible wars against the Athenians and won. They were then made to pay reparations to Minos in the form of sacrifices to the Minotaur. This was in the form of 7 virgins and 7 young men, drawn in a lottery, hunger games fashion.

As the third year of sacrifices came upon the Athenians, Theseus offered to go and slay the Minotaur. His father, Aegeus, king of Athens agreed, and they made a pact that if Theseus was successful,in killing the monster, on his return he would put white sails on his boat to tell them that he had survived.

So off Theseus set, on arriving in Crete, he met Ariadne, and she fell deeply and madly in love with Theseus. She gave him a ball of string to help him navigate the labyrinth. Theseus managed to trick the Minotaur, sneaking up on him as he slept and killed the beast after a short battle. He lead the other Athenians out of the labyrinth, and he returned safely to Ariadne. Taking her with him on the ship to return, he turned in to a player and abandoned her on the island of Naxos (don't worry she found someone better).

In Theseus' haste to get away from Naxos, he forgot to put the white sails on his boat. At the sight of the ships return, Aegeus was filled with grief and committed suicide by throwing himself from a tower in to the sea, which was then named after him.

All in all, a sad tale, which I think the painting encapsulates wonderfully.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

Amdall Gallery

Collection of artwork, data analysis, and other assorted projects by Jon

The Butterfly Tree

where stories take wings

The Planet According to Dom

The workings of a dyslexic mind

O' Canada

Reflections on Canadian Culture From Below the Border

dianabyrne

My experience Paris Museums

Black Pen Art

Website and blog on the simplicity of the line. (c) 2017. All contents belong to sueblackpenart

The Daily Travesty

Bad Poetry On Purpose

The Semicolon

Where words speak out loud.

No-Madder Nomadder

Where am I going?

fallingforsnow.wordpress.com/

🌸 F A L L I N G F O R S N O W 🌸

sandsoftime10

A peep into Megha's mind

kireidays

my journey, recorded in words and pictures

Beverly G Photography

A place for my never ending hobby

Young Meets Free

on a journey towards freedom

Single mum’s blog about failing at life

Join me through my battles with depression, teenagers, dating and men. I am no expert at any of these, so any advise will be welcome, or just share your struggles here.

the art of becoming

writing, persisting, becoming.

KingDylbagblog

Manga and stuff...

M.C. Grimm

Where Adventures Begin

30-something and not panicking...

Yes, I'm in my 30s and I haven't figured it all out yet but no, I'm not panicking! Life is good!

Living for Experiences

Simplify . Explore . Enjoy

The Unintended Curator

Writings about Art, Artists, and the Creative Process.

MovieBabble

The Casual Way to Discuss Movies

Slippery Edge

beauty is in the eye of the beholder

The Write Direction

~Que Sera Sera~

Uncle Tree's House

Putting music to words, and words to pictures ~

The Loyal Brit Wit

Posh and cultured language adventures

SOUL CONNECTION

Stories that touched my Soul.

An Anxious Gal

The ramblings of an Anxiety-filled gal.

Exploring Diversitas

Come, let's explore the amazing world of biodiversity.

POETRY PASSION

A PLACE FOR PROFESSIONAL & PASSIONATE POETS

MyNameIsDespair

Words of emptiness, and despair.

D.I.Y-ing Machine

All you can do by yourself.

A Booknerd Travels

books, travel, photography, lifestyle

One Man's Rants

Bringing an alternative view of the World to the North-east of England and beyond.

Written in the ink

. . . Is Writing, Art, Life and Dreams.

Peanutbutterprattle

A blog about dealing with life, recovery, self love and all things in between.

Complex Sugar

“Say it like you mean it and seal it with a kiss 💋”

HistorianRuby: An Historian's Miscellany

Early modern historian. Loves gender, women's, social & royal histories. Ventures elswhere when interest is piqued. Blog may cover above themes or something a little more random. Find me on Twitter @ruthrblair

Article 19.1.a

A potpourri of random thoughts, societal issues, pencil sketches and celebration of life for the beauty that it is :)

Word😉

#blues #new blogger

o l i t a

place of all things lovely, by ola masalska

gregonews

Your source reference Art & Design I am your travel guide

%d bloggers like this: