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- Related People
artist's book: etching, embossing, and letterpress on Somerset paper
- Dimensions (H x W x D)
slipcase: 12 15/16 in x 12 1/8 in x 1 5/8 in; each sheet: 11 1/8 in x 11 3/8 in
- Collection Area
Books, Portfolios, and Manuscripts
- Object Type
- Credit Line
Gift of Mr. Edward S. Safdie
- Accession Number
© unknown, research required
Artists have richly mined the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur since classical antiquity. The Minotaur, a beast composed of the body of a man and the head of a bull, was kept in the labyrinth of King Minos on the island of Crete and fed sacrificial youths and maidens.
In the myth, Theseus must journey through the labyrinth, kill the beast, and find his way out. In this rendition, artist John Furnival deeply embossed the paper to create the labyrinth; the figures at the center of the composition refer to key moments in the narrative. Here the artist depicted the Minotaur trapped in the labyrinth, two of the seven sacrificial maidens, and Theseus’s triumph over the creature.