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Picasso's TechniqueExamining the PaintingConclusion


Click on the button to the left to view the metamorphosis of The Tragedy.

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Clearly Picasso used the panel at least four times. In 1899 it became the support for quickly drawn sketches; in 1901 he painted a bullring; in 1902 he painted a work similar to the pencil drawing of El Arrastre, and in 1903 he covered all the other images with The Tragedy.

Rather than simply reusing the support because he was poor or dissatisfied with his work, it is important to understand that Picasso incorporated each layer into the subsequent one because he believed that a painting was the "sum of destructions." The arched forms of the stadium evolved into the plumes of the horses' headdresses, and the head of the leading horse became the contour of the man's head and shoulders in the final composition of The Tragedy.

The process of painting The Tragedy emerged as part of the final image itself. Picasso continued to rework his paintings throughout his long career as an artist. He often left clues on the surface, which draw the viewer's attention to the metamorphosis of a work of art.





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