La Fin d'un monstre [The End of a Monster] (1937)
About this artwork
Picasso closely identified with the mythological Minotaur, who was half-man, half-beast. The Minotaur was an outcast, but he was also a being of untamed passion. Picasso first adopted the minotaur as a theme in the late 1920s. Soon after he made the pencil drawing, his friend Paul Eluard wrote a poem about it, noting, 'You have to see yourself die in order to know that you are still alive' - a reference to the mirror held by the woman. The beast is dying after being speared by an arrow.
- title: La Fin d'un monstre [The End of a Monster]
- accession number: GMA 3891
- artist: Pablo PicassoFrench (1881 - 1973)
- gallery: On Loan
- object type: Work on paper
- subject: Death
- materials: Pencil on paper
- date created: 1937
- measurements: 38.60 x 56.30 cm
- credit line: Purchased with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Art Fund 1995
- copyright: © Succession Picasso/DACS, London 2016.
- photographer: Antonia Reeve
The son of an artist, Picasso was born in Malaga, Spain, and studied at art school in Barcelona. He visited Paris in 1900 and after several extended stays settled there in 1904. Picasso was a hugely prolific and highly influential artist who worked in numerous styles throughout his life. However, it is probably for his cubist paintings that he is known. Their revolutionary treatment of subject matter, whether still life or portrait, is instantly recognisable as being by Picasso. The Gallery of Modern Art has a small, but choice collection of Picasso's work, including a 'Blue Period' painting, a cubist collage, two still life paintings, two drawings, several prints and some notable loans.