This project was created by Pablo Picasso around the Christmas period of 1945.
It is a group of eleven lithographs that provide a blueprint on how to develop a piece of art from the academic to an abstract class.
In this series, Picasso breaks down the visual form of a bull character to discover the essential aspects that progressively make the heart of the beast.
In the first part of the series, Picasso paints a bull with a brush and lithographic ink. The spontaneous picture created makes his baseline for future developments.
Various art experts interpret it differently. Some say the bull is a symbol of brutality or virility while the others think it is Picasso’s self-reflections. In the second stage, Picasso details the form of the bull with structural aspects expressing mythical power.
On the third plate, Picasso takes a completely new direction with the bulls form. He begins the dissection of the beast through asymmetric lines following the contours of its muscles. He also uses crayons to explicitly outline the surface texture.
On the fourth plate, Picasso begins to abstract the structure of the bull. At this point, he borrows from his past analogy which considers a picture as a sum of destructions rather than additions.
The fifth stage of the bull sees a simplification of the bull form by erasing some of its sections particularly the tail and the head.
Picasso does this to redistribute the dynamics and balance between the front and rear of the character. What was formerly the head is compressed to occupy a small area in the forehead of the bull. In this development, he depicts a balance of elements that keeps the structure of the bull stable.
At the sixth stage, Picasso reduces the intensity of the network of lines running across the creatures form. The main discovery in this stage is the displacement of weight and balance between the head and the tail of the animal.
Upon understanding that aspect, the next plate features the removal of the extra lines on the torso which have served their purpose.
Picasso then reconfigures the head, tail, and legs of the creature to a more simplistic design on the 9th plate. He also removes the color depth that highlighted energy points on its torso. He eventually strips down the lines showing forces of correlation to have just a basic outline of the creature sketched in single lines.