Pablo Picasso, “The Bull”, Lithograph, Plate No. 1, December 1945, Norton Simon Museum
Picasso is credited with revolutionizing the art of lithography. The tradition at the time was that artists would send their works to master printers. Picasso, however was in the printers’ shops creating his pieces, working alongside the printers and altering his work as the technicians did their tasks.
The printers didn’t always understand what Picasso was doing, as sometimes the finished print didn’t appear as complete as an earlier state, His iconic series “The Bull” began with a realistic-looking sketch of the creature which Picasso then darkened and gradually reworked into a geometric-styled animal. He decisively and deliberately reduced the details to reveal a simple stick figure bull as the finished piece.