Francisco de Goya

England / India, b.1815, d.1859

El Celebre Fernando Del Toro Canlasguero Obligando A La Fiera Con Su Garroche

  • 1816
  • Aquatint
  • Purchased with assistance from the Olive Stirrat Bequest, 1985
  • 265 x 370mm
  • 85/71

Francisco Goya held the role of official painter of the Spanish court from 1796 to 1826, including through the tumultuous 1808–13 French occupation. In 1816, he published Tauromaquia (The Art of Bullfighting), a series of thirty-three aquatint etchings paying sombre tribute to the tradition, which had been completely prohibited in 1805 but restored under French rule.

(Out of Time, 23 September 2023 – 28 April 2024)

Exhibition History

earlier labels about this work
  • 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.

    (Label date unknown)