- Ca. 1810 - 1812
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, United States
- 98 x 126 cm
- Técnica y soporte
- Oil on canvas
- Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
- Documented work
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Ficha: realización/revisión
- 19 May 2010 / 14 Apr 2021
This canvas was the property of Javier Goya in Madrid before belonging to various owners and collections, including: José de Salamanca y Mayol, Marquis of Salamanca, Madrid; Auguste Dreyfus, Paris; Dreyfus de González; Arthur Veil Picard, Paris; and Leonard Thomas, New York.
The Metropolitan Museum acquired the work in 1922 through the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe collection and the Wolfe Fund.
According to the inventory of the painter's estate which was carried out in 1812, the canvas entitled Procession in Valencia was the companion piece to this painting in the famous collection of the Marquis of Salamanca, dating from the 19th century.
In this picture we see two different bullfights taking place in a public square which has been split down the middle by a dividing wall. In the foreground, Goya has painted a group of spectators with their backs to the viewer. In the background, behind another group of people watching the two bullfights, are a number of buildings spread out in front of the blue sky. The clouds are concentrated in the middle of the painting, above the point where the improvised bullring is cut in two.
According to Gudiol, "in the technique there predominates a great fluidity, which is shown in the contrasting tones, always under the influence of softer intermediate tones. A vagueness of forms and outlines can be seen in the curtain of buildings in the background, in keeping with an old procedure of Goya's, which always tended to exaggerate the effects of the aerial perspective".
In addition to its artistic importance, this painting also holds some interesting historical information since it tells us that during this period - although we do not know how often - two bullfights were sometimes held simultaneously within a single space, giving us an idea of the interest that this type of entertainment held for the people. The accumulation of large numbers of bulls at certain celebrations meant that, in order to double the number of fights that could be held in a day, the ring would be temporarily divided in two, a custom that was still practised until well into the 20th century.
A very similar image to this one appeared in Goya's series of four lithographs, Bulls of Bordeaux (Los toros de Burdeos) (1824-1825), under the title Divided Bullring (Plaza Partida).
Francisco Goya: His Paintings, Drawings and PrintsThe Metropolitan Museum of ArtNew York1936from January 27th to March 8th 1936cat. 15
Exhibition of Paintings, Drawings and Prints by Francisco de GoyaCalifornia Palace of the Legion of HonorSan Francisco1937from June 5th to July 4th 1937cat. 25
The art of Goya. Paintings, drawings and printsThe Art Institute of ChicagoChicago1941from January 30th to March 2nd 1941cat. 79
Goya: toros y torerosEspace Van GoghArles1990displayed also at Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, consultant editor Pierre Gassier.cat. 186
Goya in the Metropolitan Museum of ArtThe Metropolitan Museum of ArtNew York1995consultant editors Colta Ives and Susan Alyson Stein. From September 12th to December 31st 1995cat. 12
Manet/Velázquez: The French Taste for Spanish PaintingThe Metropolitan Museum of ArtNew York2003from March 4th to June 8th 2003cat. 15
L'œuvre peint de Goya. 4 volsParís1928-1950p. 269, cat. 244
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Vie et ouvre de Francisco de GoyaParísOffice du livre1970p. 265, cat. 953
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L’opera pittorica completa di GoyaMilanRizzoli1974p. 125, cat. 535
Goya, toros y torerosMadridMinisterio de Cultura, Comunidad de Madrid1990pp. 72 y 73, cat. 12
European Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art by artists born before 1865New YorkHarry N. Abrams1995p. 166
Goya in the Metropolitan Museum of ArtBurlington Magazinenº 138London1996pp. 100-10