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Picasso made this work at the Château de Boisgeloup, near Gisors, which he had purchased in 1931. He turned the stables into a sculpture studio, and between 1931-4 produced there some of his most important sculptures. Most of these were of the female figure, represented in curving, organic forms, but he also produced three works on the theme of the cock, a subject which may well have been connected to his move to the countryside. The cock's body is composed of spiky, elongated forms, each of which has a strongly separate identity although subordinated to the animated whole.

August 2004