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Escaping the Labyrinth

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  1. Escaping the Labyrinth Greek Mythology 10/28/08

  2. Cathedral at Chartres, France

  3. Cathedral at Chartres, France

  4. The cathedral of Chartres, France (SW of Paris) 11-circuit labyrinth Built in the 13th century

  5. The cathedral of Chartres, France (SW of Paris) 11-circuit labyrinth Built in the 13th century

  6. Late Roman villa mosaic labyrinthSalzburg, Austria, late 3rd cent. A.D. ????

  7. Coins of Knossos, Crete (of various dates: Classical to early Roman)

  8. The dark heart of Greek myth • In the middle of the generations of heroes • On the great island of Crete in the middle of the Aegean • The subtlest craftsman of Athens built a dark, mysterious maze • To hide the bestial shame of the daughter of great king Minos, son of Zeus and Europa

  9. “Labyrinthus Hic Habitat Minotaurus”Graffito of 7-circuit labyrinth, Pompeii (before 79 A.D.)

  10. Remember Europa…

  11. Remember Europa… European Council -- Brussels

  12. Europa and Crete • After Zeus turned into a bull and raped Agenor’s daughter Europa, carrying her across the sea to Crete (Ovid Met. Book 2, end) • She marries king of Crete Asterios, has sons by Zeus: Minos, Rhadamanthys, Sarpedon • [READ ACM pp. 45-6, sect. L1-2]

  13. The sons of Europa

  14. Minos & Pasiphae • Minos becomes king of Crete • Marries Pasiphae, daughter of Helios and Perseis (thus sister of Aietes and Circe) • Among their children: son Androgeos, daughters Ariadne and Phaidra • And Pasiphae’s son, Asterios / Asterion or…

  15. The Cretan Bull • King Minos boasted of his power, prayed that Poseidon send a bull up from the sea, said he would sacrifice it • Poseidon sends the bull, but Minos refused to sacrifice it • Or, Pasiphae neglected sacrifices to Aphrodite • So Minos/Pasiphae are punished: queen lusts for the bull

  16. Daidalos • Pasiphae gets the clever Athenian craftsman Daidalos to help her • He builds a hollow mechanical cow in which Pasiphae mates with the bull • She gets pregnant and has a son Asterios / Asterion – a.k.a. The Bull of Minos “Minotaur”

  17. Daidalos • Minos then has Daidalos build the labyrinth—a maze—in which to hide the shameful monstrous Minotaur • Daidalos and the labyrinth is among the stories which Ovid places in the central book of the Metamorphoses (book 8 of 15)

  18. Pasiphae and baby Minotaur

  19. Daedalus & Pasiphae(Giulio Romano 15th century)

  20. “Pasiphae”(Henri Matisse, 1869-1954)

  21. “Pasiphae” (Diane Victor, 2002)

  22. Minotaur and wife (Pablo Picasso 1881-1973)

  23. Minotaur in 20th century art • The 20th century saw a resurgence of the minotaur and Cretan myths as themes in art and literature • Recall Europa = Europe • Minos, Pasiphae, Daidalos, Minotaur, Labyrinth become symbols of crisis of modernity

  24. Minotaur in 20th century art • Daidalos : the artists (enforced?) collusion in creation of false masks and prisons of “civilized” culture • Pasiphae : primal animal passions which bourgeois culture attempts to conceal • Minotaur : modern man (?) the hybrid man-bull monster • Labyrinth : the dark maze of…human psyche (Freud), technological civilization • Symbolic of the barbarities of war/genocide which erupted in “civilized” Europe 1914-1945

  25. Le labyrintheAndre Masson 1938

  26. Picasso Minotaur “If all the ways I have been along were marked on a map and joined up with a line, it might represent a Minotaur.” (Picasso, when 80 years old)

  27. Minotaur 1933

  28. Minotaur 1933

  29. Picasso Minotaur

  30. Minotaur and his wife 1937

  31. Palatte, Candlestick, and head of Minotaur (1938)

  32. Blind Minotaur 1934

  33. 1937 : Nazis and Italian Fascists bombed Basque town of Guernica, Spain on Apr. 24, 1937 during Spanish Civil War. Painting first displayed at 1937 Paris International Exhibition

  34. Picasso’s Guernica • 1937-1950s : toured world, regularly in exhibitions against war • Until 1981 : at MOMA in NYC, became focus of anti-war vigils during Vietnam War • 1981 : MOMA gave painting to Spain, following death of Franco and establishment of a democratic constitutional monarchy (in accord with Picasso’s wishes) • 1985 : Nelson Rockefeller’s estate bequeaths tapestry copy to UN – it hangs outside Security Council • 2003 : Tapestry draped upon occasion of Secretary of State Colin Powell’s presentation to UN arguing case for war in Iraq

  35. Minotaure designer fragrance • “The Minotaur is a reoccurring theme in Pablo Picasso's work, and this is where his daughter got the name for her only masculine fragrance. Minotaure cologne by Pablo [sic: should read Paloma] Picasso has top notes of citrus and middle notes of Lavender, Geranium, and Jasmine. Minotaure base notes include Sandalwood, Vanilla, and Leather.”

  36. What happens next? • What happens when prince Theseus of Athens is sacrificed to the Minotaur? • How does Minos’ daughter Ariadne become the bride of Dionysos? • How does Theseus escape the murderous wiles of Medea? • Read ACM pp. 54-57, and stay tuned… • What grade did I get on the midterm? • Check Sakai later today