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.
From La Tauromaquia
Aquatint Etching on Paper
Limited edition of 263. Estate stamped on back. Excellent vintage condition.View The Legends of Modern Art Collection