One of Picasso's associates, the poet Guillaume Apollinaire, was arrested on suspicion of stealing the Mona Lisa from the Louvre in 1911. Apollinaire fingered Picasso as a suspect, and the artist was also brought in for questioning, but both were later exonerated.
As a Spaniard it was inevitable that the bull, the bullfight, and eventually the Minotaur, would concern Picasso. During the 1930s, the minotaur would replace harlequin as a common motif in Picasso's work. His use of the minotaur came partly from his contact with the surrealists, who often used it as their symbol, and it appears in Picasso's Guernica. The minotaur and Picasso's mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter are heavily featured in his celebrated Vollard Suite of etchings.
Les Noces de Pierrette (1905) portrays a group of prosperous families mingling and gossiping at a wedding. However the figures are painted with blank, emotionless faces and hollow eye-sockets. When he finished this piece, Picasso refused to let anyone see it, but his mistress, Fernande Olivier, snuck into his study for a look. She was so disturbed that the couple separated shortly afterwards.