Picasso Sculpture: For Kids

Pablo Picasso. Bull. Cannes, c. 1958 739

Plywood, tree branch, nails, and screws, 46 1/8 x 56 3/4 x 4 1/8" (117.2 x 144.1 x 10.5 cm). Gift of Jacqueline Picasso in honor of the Museum's continuous commitment to Pablo Picasso's art. © 2022 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Narrator: This sculpture is flat, almost like a sign or a billboard. What kind of animal is it?  It’s a bull! Walk around it to see both sides. Here’s Nancy Lim:

Nancy Lim: What Picasso did was he cut out the basic shapes of the bull's body from sheets of plywood – its legs, its belly, its head and its ears and its back. And then he attached all of these pieces together with all kinds of wooden pieces. Palm branches, table legs, as well as leftover wood scraps and lumber.

Lynda Zycherman: There's also what appears to be a broomstick straight in the middle.

Narrator: That’s Lynda Zycherman. She’s a Conservator here at MoMA who helps keep the art in good condition.

Lynda Zycherman: He added things to the front, then he turned it around, added things to the back. Then he turned it back around and added things to the front, and so on.

Nancy Lim: On its body you can see a smattering of nails, which are supposed to indicate its bristly fur. Maybe one of the most fun parts of Bull is the face. It has very fat cheeks, very heavy jowls.

Lynda Zycherman: And the eyes are made of two very large screws. And it gives the impression that the bull is looking at you. And as a final humorous gesture, in the picture frame that forms the bull face, Picasso carved in a little smile on the bull's mouth.

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