Abstract Expressionism

Pablo Picasso’s Bulls: On The Road To Simplicity

Zuzanna Stańska 19 April 2017 min Read

Pablo Picasso's bulls are something that once seen, cannot be forgotten. The Bull is a series of 11 lithographs created around Christmas in 1945, that famously depict the beast in various stages of abstraction. All pulled from a single stone, is a one big investigation on the true "spirit" of the animal. And in this case "the spirit" is equal to "the form". [caption id="attachment_4469" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Pablo Picasso's Bulls Pablo Picasso, "The Bull", lithographs, 1945[/caption] Picasso had his favorite animals. His love to pigeons was well known - it even became an international symbol of peace in a post-war world. Picasso also loved bulls - he was a frequent guest to Spanish corridas. There the artist used the bull as a metaphor - depending on its context, it has been interpreted in various ways: as a representation of the Spanish people; as a comment on fascism and brutality; as a symbol of virility; or as a reflection of Picasso's self image. But to be honest, it is not important here. What is important, is the artists' search of the real "idea" of a bull. He started from flesh and bones - an image of a bull, lightly sketched. Then the bull gained weight, and slowly started to turn into an abstract animal similar to what we know from other Picasso's paintings.  Finally around plate 9 the bull became only couple of lines - a great anthem to simplicity.

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