Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Dying Bull

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, Malaga 1881–1973 Mougins, France)
Oil on canvas
13 1/4 x 21 3/4 in. (33.7 x 55.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection, 1998
Accession Number:
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2017 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Not on view
Picasso's father took him to see his first bullfight in 1889, when he was only nine years old. The spectacle so impressed him that he made it the subject of his very first painting that same year. In 1934 Picasso again took up the subject in an extensive series of drawings, prints, and paintings in which the choreography of the corrida became a metaphor for life and death. Here, Picasso focuses solely on the agony of the dying bull, eliminating the spectators, horses, and matador.
Inscription: Signed, dated, and inscribed in gray paint, upper left: Boisgeloup / 16 juillet / XXXIV - /Picasso
the artist, Paris (1934–36; in February/March 1936 to Rosenberg); [Paul Rosenberg, Paris and Rosenberg & Helft, London, 1936–ca. 1937; stock no. 3417; sold by April 1937 to Falk]; Oswald T. Falk, Esq., London (in 1937); [Bignou Gallery, New York, in 1941]; Keith Warner, New York (in 1946); G. David Thompson, Pittsburgh (until 1960; sold in autumn 1960, through Ernst Beyeler, Basel, to Feigen); [Richard L. Feigen Gallery, Chicago, 1960–61; sold in 1961 to Douglas]; Kirk Douglas, Beverly Hills (1961–74; sold in 1974, through Feigen, to Berggruen); [Heinz Berggruen, Paris, 1974–at least 1980]; [Interart, Ltd., Zug, Switzerland, until 1982; sold on December 7, 1982 to Gelman]; Jacques and Natasha Gelman, Mexico City and New York (1982–his d. 1986); Natasha Gelman, Mexico City and New York (1986–d. 1998; her bequest to MMA)

Galerie Paul Rosenberg, Paris. "Exposition d'oeuvres récentes de Picasso," March 3–31, 1936, no. 20.

London. Rosenberg & Helft. "Recent Works of Picasso," April 1–30, 1937, no. 25.

New York. Bignou Gallery. "Picasso: Early and Late," February 10–March 1, 1941, no. 13.

Kunsthaus Zürich. "Sammlung G. David Thompson, Pittsburgh, USA," October 15–November 27, 1960, no. 177.

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Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. "Picasso: Two Concurrent Retrospective Exhibitions," February 8–March 26, 1967, no. 56.

Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. "Exposition Picasso," October 15–December 4, 1977, no. 43.

Nagoya. Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art. "Exposition Picasso," December 13–26, 1977, no. 43.

Cultural Center of Fukuoka. "Exposition Picasso," January 5–22, 1978, no. 43.

Kyoto. National Museum of Modern Art. "Exposition Picasso," January 28–March 5, 1978, no. 43.

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New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection," December 12, 1989–April 1, 1990, unnumbered cat. (p. 192).

London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection," April 19–July 15, 1990, unnumbered cat.

Martigny. Fondation Pierre Gianadda. "De Matisse à Picasso: Collection Jacques et Natasha Gelman," June 18–November 1, 1994, unnumbered cat. (p. 216).

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Alfred H. Barr Jr. Picasso: Fifty Years of His Art. New York, 1946, pp. 186–87, ill.

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Jean Vinchon. "Les Mythes du taureau et du cheval dans les arts normaux et pathologiques." Art d'aujourd'hui 2 (October 1951), p. 15, ill.

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Hélène Parmelin. Picasso Plain: An Intimate Portrait. New York, 1963, ill. opp. p. 126.

Pablo Picasso. Tokyo, 1981, p. 108, fig. 17.

Carsten-Peter Warncke. Pablo Picasso, 1881–1973. Ed. Ingo F. Walther. Vol. 1, The Works 1890–1936. Cologne, 1992, p. 362, ill.

Pierre Daix. Dictionnaire Picasso. Paris, 1995, pp. 145, 605.

Mariel Jardines. The Picasso Project: Picasso's Paintings, Watercolours, Drawings, and Sculpture, A Comprehensive Illustrated Catalogue, 1885–1973. Ed. Herschel Chipp and Alan Wofsy. Vol. 5, Surrealism, 1930–1936. San Francisco, 1997, p. 310, no. 34-097, ill. p. 234.

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Elizabeth Cowling. Picasso: Style and Meaning. London, 2002, pp. 559–60, fig. 534.

Madeleine Korn. "Collecting Paintings by Matisse and by Picasso in Britain before the Second World War." Journal of the History of Collections 16, no. 1 (2004), p. 125.

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