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Bowing to the bull: a study of Goya's Tauromaquia

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Érica Boccardo Burini
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Press: Campinas, SP.
Institution: Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Patricia Dalcanale Meneses; Paulo Mugayar Kuhl; Claudia Valladao Mattos
Advisor: Patricia Dalcanale Meneses

La Tauromaquia is a series of, initially, 33 etchings, designed and engraved by Francisco Goya, whose first edition was published in Madrid, in 1816. The present research proposes a circulation and a reception study of this bullfighting themed series between Spain and France during the 19th century. The images of these etchings do not present a single reading, as is usual in the graphic work of the Aragonese master. They are steeped in contradictions, subtleties and paradoxes that are seen in different ways in each situation. The context of creation of these artworks is from the recent restoration of Fernando VII, who re-establishes the Inquisition. Goya's work differs greatly from the bullfighting iconography that circulated at the time, as it is presented an old-fashioned form of bullfight, a historical perspective of the thesis of the Moorish invention, dark compositions with sometimes undefined contours, tragic incidents and it ends its journey with the death of the famous bullfighter Pepe Illo. The representation of the Moors is related to the Mamluks who, together with the Napoleonic army, invaded the country's capital on May 2, 1808. The theme of bullfighting itself was the target of political, religious and identity disputes. While the enlightened intellectuals close to the artist criticized bullfighting as a barbaric, uncivilized and pagan custom, nationalists defended it as an important element for the conservation of the country's identity, in the face of foreign influences, especially French and revolutionary ones. The glance at the trajectory of the series in the neighboring country is motivated by the five prints of La Tauromaquia currently located in the MASP collection, whose provenance is the private collection of Victor Hugo. At the beginning of the 19th century, fascination with Spanish culture, customs and art is growing in France, especially encouraged by the looting of artworks that led to the construction of two collections, one belonging to the Musée Napoléon, the other is the Galerie espagnole de Louis Philippe, both associated to the Musée du Louvre. In this context, the role of Valentín Carderera, Federico de Madrazo and Baron Taylor is studied as promoters and diffusers of Goya's work, with different means and interests. Textual reception is investigated mostly in the writings of Carderera and Théophile Gautier, and the biographies of Laurent Matheron and Charles Yriarte, while the reception in the field of visual arts has Eugène Delacroix and Édouard Manet as case studies. The images of the Spanish artist emerge as a rebel, anti-academic, paradoxical, between a man of the people and a servant of the Court, violent, bullfighter, womanizer, or, on the other hand, philosopher, revolutionary and liberal. Victor Hugo presents a role of synthesis between the two fronts, textual and visual, since his work, both poetic and graphic, is influenced by the Aragonese master (AU)

FAPESP's process: 19/17706-0 - Bowing to the bull: a study of Goya's Tauromaquia etchings present in MASP collection
Grantee:Érica Boccardo Burini
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Master