"Pablo Picasso: Women, Bulls and Old Masters", which began on Friday and runs until January 12, 2014, includes works from the museum's holdings and others from public and private collections.

"Picasso created the most important oeuvre in 20th-century art not only in his capacity as a painter and sculptor, but also and above all as a draughtsman and printmaker," the museum said.

The works in the exhibition cover seven decades of Picasso's output, ranging from a 1900 painting to the erotic works of the 1960s.

Picasso (1881-1973) was heavily influenced by the imagery of bullfighting as a Spaniard living in exile in France and because he often accompanied his father to bull rings as a boy, curator Anita Beloubek-Hammer said on Thursday.

Picasso saw the Minotaur - the mythical creature that was half man and half bull - as his alter ego, Beloubek-Hammer said.

Bullfights symbolized the battle of the sexes for Picasso, with the man represented by the figure of the bullfighter and the woman by the bull, Beloubek-Hammer said. Women were another important theme in Picasso's work, representing the different attitudes toward life.


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