- Purchased with assistance from the Olive Stirrat Bequest, 1985
- 265 x 370mm
This work captures the tension of the moment when the picador, on his blindfolded horse, and the bull confront each other in the bullring. It is one of a series of 33 plates Francisco Goya made called The Art of Bullfighting, published in 1816. Goya was a great print technician. Here he has used an immediate and sketchy etched line for the main characters. He has then used a broad wash of aquatint to create an even darkness in the background, providing a contrast with the action in the foreground. Born in Aragon, Goya trained under the court painter, Francesco Bayeu (1734 -1795). In 1795 he succeeded Bayeu as Director of Painting at the Academy San Fernando and in 1799 he was appointed First Court Painter. He retained his position as court painter under Joseph Bonaparte during the French occupation of Spain from 1808 to 1814 and was retained again by Ferdinand VII until 1826 when he settled in Bordeaux in France.