Bullfight

Object Details

Title:

Bullfight

Artist/Maker(s):

Édouard Manet (French, 1832 - 1883)

Culture:

French

Date:

1865

Medium:

Watercolor over graphite

Dimensions:

19.2 x 21.4 cm (7 9/16 x 8 7/16 in.)

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"One of the most beautiful, strangest, and terrible spectacles one could see is a bullfight," wrote Édouard Manet to his friend the poet and critic Charles Baudelaire in 1865. Fascinated by bullfights, Manet here chose to illustrate the violent moment of a bull goring a horse with its horn. While the horse is pinned against the arena, the torero, dressed in red and still clutching his cape, escapes by jumping over the barrier. The picador or "horse-master" is caught helplessly between his mount and the wall while two spectators try to lift him to safety.

Manet probably made this drawing at the scene of an actual bullfight. He used an energetic and gestural line to define the forms for the bodies of the bull and horse. Thin lines of black watercolor delineate the figures, and applied shades of color give three-dimensional form. Touches of yellow, red, blue, and brown animate the crowd of spectators, while economically applied black paint suggests details such as facial features.

Provenance

André Schoeller, 1879 - 1955

A. Strölin

Madame Jacqueline Strölin, Lausanne

Galerie de Bayser S.A.

Exhibitions
The Compositional Drawing from the 16th to the 19th Century (April 16 to June 30, 1996)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), April 16 to June 30, 1996, (Cat.)
Figural Compositional Drawings from the 16th to the 19th Century (August 31 to December 8, 1996)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), August 31 to December 8, 1996, (Cat.)
Figure Drawings (December 17, 1996 to April 6, 1997)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), December 17, 1996 to April 6, 1997, (Cat.)
Master Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998, (Cat.)
To Create a Living Art: 19th Century Drawings (May 1 to July 15, 2001)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), May 1 to July 15, 2001, (Cat.)
The Prismatic Palette: Four Centuries of Watercolors (October 5, 2004 to January 2, 2005)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), October 5, 2004 to January 2, 2005, (Cat.)
Defining Modernity: European Drawings 1800-1900 (June 5 to September 9, 2007)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 5 to September 9, 2007, (Cat.)