The Minotaur was a lusty half-man and half-bull so would have appealed to an artist who found early success for his depictions of Spain's classic bull fighting festivals. Equally, the strong female form is often represented by "The Amazon" or sometimes "The Mare" and here in his 1933 sketch of "Minotaur Attacking an Amazone" we see Picasso use these figures to represent the struggle between the sexes; one of the key themes the Spanish master returned to again and again throughout his life sometimes through sketches which illustrate The Bull raping The Mare.
Earlier in the century, Andre Masson initiated the resurgence of the minotaur myth in Western art and this was eagerly adopted by some of Europe's most acclaimed artists, such as Henry Matisse and Max Ernst. This vibrant half-man; half-bull character seemed perfect to Picasso to represent the male side in his work to examine the dynamic between the sexes. The female side was represented at different times by a "Beautiful Girl", or artist's model who does not age throughout his life, the mare or horse or, as we see in this study, The Amazon.
Some studies show the female side with the upper hand as a stunted male figure is dominated by a strong Amazon but in this case we see even the strong Amazon overpowered by the might of the Minotaur. Overall, it is important to view this image as just one of many created through the artist's life as he developed his own troubled response to the relationship between the sexes. These range from "The Sculptor"'s literal fascination with his muse, "The Matador"'s mastery of "The Mare", "The Amazon"'s indulgence of "The Old Man" and, as here, the dominance of "The Minotaur".