Francisco de Goya

Bullfight in the Ring (Corrida en la plaza)

Bullfight in the Ring (Corrida en la plaza)
Datos Generales
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 / 18 Nov 2022



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.

Análisis artístico

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 Prints
    The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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    from January 27th to March 8th 1936
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    California Palace of the Legion of Honor
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    The Art Institute of Chicago
    from January 30th to March 2nd 1941
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    The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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    consultant editors Colta Ives and Susan Alyson Stein. From September 12th to December 31st 1995
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    The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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Enlaces externos
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