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Bullfight 1901

What is it Pablo remembers?
A crowd swaying & shouting?
A bull bellowing? The skilful
planting of pike or dart?

Pablo recalls a colourful
- brown black green yellow & red -
circle of dots & splashes.

The bull advances cowlike
The matador vaguely threatens him …

The picador sleeps on his horse …
A Guernican head blindly stares at the sky
Screams    dies

PABLO day by day GROWS SQUARER FATTER
OLDER...    His bull grows thinner
- dots & squiggles.

‘When was this bullfight you continually
dream of
- a tiny kid on your father's knee –
clapping & shoutingOLE! OLE!”?’

Note

In this painting Picasso sucks all the ferocity & energy from the bullfight: only two details - the dying horse (indicating a genuinely ferocious bull, as in Guernica), & perhaps a ripple in the colourful spectators - retain any of it.

Pablo as an infant must have been as excited or terrified as any other child, but he seems unable later – except in rhythmic dots & splodges - to recall anything much of the early fear & excitement.