Francisco de Goya

A right-handed man fighting from the front from behind ( Bullfighting K)

A right-handed man fighting from the front from behind ( Bullfighting K)
Datos Generales
1814 - 1816
240 x 347 mm
Técnica y soporte
Aguafuerte y aguatinta bruñida sobre papel verjurado
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Documented work
Ficha: realización/revisión
02 Oct 2021 / 13 Mar 2023

Goya (print, bottom right-hand corner)


See How the ancient Spaniards hunted bulls on horseback in the countryside

This work is one of a group of five prints discarded by Goya and not included in the first edition of the Bullfighting, of which the copper plates have not survived, so they could not have been included in later editions of the series, as was the case with the seven that Loizelet added in 1876 in the third edition. Of the five prints mentioned above, identified by Gassier with the letters H-L, only a few state proofs and their preparatory drawings have survived. Of a sixth print, of which the copper was never opened, only the preparatory drawing is extant.

Only one proof of the present print, with the etching and burnished aquatint, is preserved in the National Library of Spain (Inv. 45683). This proof of state was acquired by the National Library from the Amunátegui collection in Madrid around 1940, to which it had come, after successive inheritances, from the collection of Valentín Carderera, who had bought it in turn from Mariano Goya y Goicoechea, the painter's grandson, in the 1860s.

Análisis artístico

See How the ancient Spaniards hunted bulls on horseback in the countryside

A bullfighting scene with a lot of movement in which the bullfighter, positioned in the center of the composition, makes a cape pass with his back to the bull, who lunges from the left. The bull is depicted in full movement, as is the bullfighter´s cape and the group of figures in the background, a quadrille with another cape that is also trying to capture the animal´s attention. In the background on the left, we see a bullfighter retrating eith his horse, which appears to be injured as it stretches out its legs. In the background we can see the bullring with a large number od spectators, but depicted, as so often in bullfighting prints, as a mass, without detail. 

The light in the scene is located in the center and comes form the left, leaving the right half of the composition in semi-darkness. Lafuente Ferrari calls this type of light reduced-focus illumination, which he relates to that found in other engravings in the series and its extensions such as The Moors do another fight in the bullring with their dressing gowns
A Spanish knight kills a bull after losing his horse, The famous Fernando del Toro, barilarguero, forcing the beast with his garrocha, and The death of Pepe Illo (Bullfighting F)

Lafuente Ferrari also comments that the present print was made known by Beruete, that it is a unique state proof, and that it was engraved in a similar way to the first engravings in the series. He also places it within the group of prints that present lances of the bullfight without historical context,

Gassier, for his part, relates the print to the bullfighter Pepe Illo and to a painting by Goya that depicts a similar cape pass entitled Luck of the cape or Backwards cape pass.

There is a preparatory drawing of this engraving, also titled A right-handed man fighting from the front from behind ( Bullfighting K)

  • Ydioma universal: Goya en la Biblioteca Nacional
    Biblioteca Nacional
    from September 19th to December 15th 1996
  • BERUETE Y MORET, Aureliano
    MadridBlass S.A.
    pp. 185-193
    pp. 177-216
  • LUJÁN, Néstor
    BarcelonaTartessos-F. Oliver Branchfelt
    1946 (reed. 1951)
  • HARRIS, Tomás
    OxfordBruno Cassirer
    vol. II, 1964, p. 361, cat. 247
  • GASSIER, Pierre y WILSON, Juliet
    Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    ParísOffice du livre
    p. 281, cat. 1239
  • SANTIAGO, Elena M. (coordinadora)
    Catálogo de las estampas de Goya en la Biblioteca Nacional
    MadridMinisterio de Educación y Cultura, Biblioteca Nacional
    cat. 371
  • MATILLA, José Manuel y MEDRANO, José Miguel
    MadridMuseo Nacional del Prado
    pp. 109-110
    Goya. In the Norton Simon Museum
    PasadenaNorton Simon Museum
    pp. 186-201
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