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Pablo Picasso THe bull Sleep, 1937 http://artyfactory.com/art_appreciation/animals_in_art/pablo_picasso/pablo_picasso.htm Pablo Picasso October 25, 1881 – April 8, 1973 Many consider Picasso to be the greatest artist of the 20th century.

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Pablo Picasso

THe bull

Sleep, 1937

http://artyfactory.com/art_appreciation/animals_in_art/pablo_picasso/pablo_picasso.htm

pablo picasso october 25 1881 april 8 1973
Pablo PicassoOctober 25, 1881 – April 8, 1973
  • Many consider Picasso to be the greatest artist of the 20th century.
  • Picasso's range of experimentation with ideas, techniques and materials is matched by few other artists.
  • Picasso, along with Georges Braque, developed Cubism, the first abstract art form.
  • Picasso's art spans various styles from realism to abstraction in both two and three dimensions.
  • Picasso contributed work to many of the major movements of the 20th century, particularly Fauvism, Cubism, Expressionism and Surrealism.
  • Bulls often appear in Picasso's work. He uses them as symbols to represent various ideas: the Spanish people, power, virility, facism, brutality, and his own self image.
  • The series of lithographic prints below are a master class in how to develop an artwork from a realistic image to an abstract form.
pablo picasso the bull
Pablo PicassoThe Bull
  • Created around the Christmas of 1945.
  • 'Bull' is a suite of eleven lithographs that have become a master class in how to develop an artwork from the academic to the abstract.
  • In this series of images, all pulled from a single stone, he visually dissects the image of a bull to discover its essential presence through a progressive analysis of its form.
  • Each plate is a successive stage in an investigation to find the absolute 'spirit' of the beast.
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1

First, the realistic brush drawing of the bull in lithographic ink.

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2

Picasso bulks up the form of the bull to increase its expressive power and achieve a more mythical presence.

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3

Picasso starts to dissect the creature with lines of force that follow the contours of its muscles and skeleton.

He cuts into the form of the bull much in the same way as a butcher would cut up a carcass.

The overall effect is reminiscent of Dürer's famous drawing of a rhinoceros.

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4

He starts to abstract the structure of the bull by simplifying and outlining the major planes of its anatomy.

Ten years earlier Picasso had said that "A picture used to be a sum of additions. In my case a picture is a sum of destructions."

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5

The simplification and stylisation of the image continues.

Picasso starts to erase sections of the bull in order to redistribute the balance and reorganise the dynamics between the front and the rear of the creature.

Picasso's process of development is like building a house of cards where balance and counterbalance of the individual elements is crucial to the stability of the whole.

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6

At this stage, another new head and tail are created to conform to the style and direction of the developing image.

Picasso introduces more curves to soften the network of lines that crisscross the creature.

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7

As Picasso recognises the balance of form in the bull, he starts to remove and simplify some of the lines of construction that have served their function.

He then encases the essential elements that remain in a taut outline.

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8

Continues the reduction and simplification of the image into line with another reconfiguration of the head, legs and tail.

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While continuing to have fun with the drawing of the head, Picasso now erases the remaining areas of tone and finally reduces the bull to a line drawing.

Only the creature's reproductive organ retains its shading in order to emphasise its gender.

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The more complex areas of the line drawing are removed to leave only a few basic lines and shapes that characterise the fundamental forces and correlation of forms in the creature .

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In the final print of the series, Picasso reduces the bull to a simple outline that is so carefully considered through the progressive development of each image, that it captures the absolute essence of the creature in as concise an image as possible. .