Goat Skull and Bottle is painted in shades of gray that match the somber palette of some of Picasso's paintings in the years during and just after
World War II and perhaps allude to the black-and-white photography
that brought images of the war home. The candle depicted here serves as a memento mori, a reminder of mortality. The sculpture was created from a host of found materials unified by their castingin bronze. Picasso used the handlebars of a bicycle to represent the goat's horns, and the heads of large
bolts form its eyes. The goat's head is covered in a layer of corrugated cardboard that implies the directionof its hair. Nails are used for the tufts between itsears and for the rays of light emanating from the candle nestled in the bottle. In this and other of Picasso's sculptures, found elements never fully give up their original identities even as they serve as parts
of a sculptural whole.
Gallery label from 2015