George Frederic Watts‘s The Minotaur
In 1898 Klimt contributed the poster “Theseus and the Minotaur“ to the first Vienna Secession group exhibition, a poster rich in symbolic meaning. The fig-leaf was deliberately missing, which caused some controversy.
The Minotaur creature was the offspring of a certain Queen Pasiphae and a white bull. The myth goes thus: after one of Poseidon‘s angry spells which caused Pasiphae to be overcome with a fit of madness in which she fell in love with the bull, Pasiphae went to Daedalus for assistance, and Daedalus devised a way for her to satisfy her passions. He constructed a hollow wooden cow covered with cowhide for Pasiphae to hide in and allow the bull to mount her. The result of this union was the Minotaur.
Update: a wikified comment by Paul Rumsey.
Watts was inspired to paint this picture by reading “The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon” by William Thomas Stead. The tiny bird crushed in the hand of the minotaur is symbolic of the child prostitute.
Update: Last night, before falling asleep the image of the below VHS cover sprang to mind.