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About the WorkSpanish painter Pablo Picasso was one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, as well as the co-creator of Cubism. “Salto con la Garrocha (La Tauromaquia, B.958)” is an aquatint. The image size is 8 x 12 – inches.
In 1957, the Barcelona-based publishing house Gustavo Gili commissioned Pablo Picasso to illustrate the century-old book La Tauromaquia o Arte de Torear (Tauromachy or the Art of Bullfighting). In the span of a few weeks that summer, Picasso etched 26 plates for the book, each depicting different moments in the bullfight. Picasso created this portfolio with a technique that was unusual for him, the sugar-lift aquatint, which allowed him to paint directly on the copper plates with a brush. His use of this process proved incredibly successful, evoking the tension, action, and choreography of the bullring through suggestive shapes and lines.
Picasso’s life-long fascination with bullfighting — at once performance and a ritual — began during his childhood, when he would frequently accompany his father to the bullfights hosted in Málaga, his native city. Picasso’s preoccupation with the bullfight remained a recurring theme in his work, exploring dualities such as love-and-eroticism; violence-and-purity; executioner-and-victim; and light-and-shadow, amongst others.
Pablo Picasso remains renowned for endlessly reinventing himself, switching between styles so radically different that his life's work seems to be the product of multiple great artists rather than just one.
About the Artist
Pablo Ruiz Picasso was born on October 26, 1881, in Malaga, Spain. His father was a professor in the School of Arts and Crafts and often took him to bullfights which would influence much of his art throughout his career. It is said that Picasso learned to draw before he could speak. Picasso studied the works and styles of many Spanish artists including Francisco Goya, El Greco, and Diego Velázquez. At the beginning of the 1900s, Picasso moved to Paris, France to open his own studio. He was lonely and depressed after the death of a close friend, which ignited what is now known as his “Blue Period”. A few years later, Picasso started the “Rose Period”, which introduced warmer colors to his works. Picasso is commonly known as the pioneer of Cubism, in which objects are broken apart and reassembled in an abstracted form; it is destructive and creative. Cubism shocked, appalled and fascinated the art world.