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La Tauromaquia, 1st edition, plate 21, Desgracias acaecidas en el tendido de la plaza de Madrid y muerte del alcalde de Torrejon (Tragedy in the front row of the ring at Madrid and the death of the mayor of Torrejón)

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Francisco de Goya (aka Francisco de Goya y Lucientes)

(Fuendetodos, Spain, March 30, 1746 - April 16, 1828, Bordeaux, France)

La Tauromaquia, 1st edition, plate 21, Desgracias acaecidas en el tendido de la plaza de Madrid y muerte del alcalde de Torrejon (Tragedy in the front row of the ring at Madrid and the death of the mayor of Torrejón), 1815-1816
Etching and aquatint on paper
8 3/8 x 12 5/8 in. (21.27 x 32.07 cm)

Creation Place: Europe, Spanish
Technique: Etching and aquatint
Credit Line: Walter and Elise Mosher Memorial Fund
Accession Number: P98.4.22

Commentary
In this memorable image, Goya documents the tragedy he witnesses in Madrid on June 15, 1801 when a bull leapt into the stands, killing two spectators including the mayor of Torrejon. In a highly unusual composition, Goya has placed the bull, momentarily blined by the gored body of one of his victims, on the far right of the composition, starkly outlined against an essentially blank background; the frantically fleeing spectators are also concentrated in the right half of the print, leaving the rest of the sheet largely defined. The result is strikingly--and surely deliberately--unsettling, the eerie stillness of death contrasting with the frenzy of the living.

Dimensions
Plate: 9 11/16 x 13 7/8.

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