The Wounded Bullfighter (The Goring)

Parladé, Andrés. The Count of Aguiar1921/1921

Museo de Artes y Costumbres Populares de Sevilla

Museo de Artes y Costumbres Populares de Sevilla

A wounded bullfighter carried by two members of his team after being gored. His left hand is clasping his head and he is looking faint. Unlike the treatment given this subject in the major compositions of the beginning of the century, this painting narrates the moments following the goring that leaves the young junior bullfighter wounded and he is attended by his two companions. No other element is there to distract our attention from the drama of the moment. Only the pain and uncertainty reflected in the main figure's pallid face attract attention.

Part of the scene features the help provided by the two companions, the only witnesses to these moments. As in most of the author's paintings on this subject, the point of view is low and the composition has a clear verticality. The two bullfighters who are holding their injured companion while he is about to lose consciousness form a tight group. The violet colours of the suits of the main character which is almost a repetition of the tonality of the wall, gives a particular coldness in the painting's overall tone, in line with the tragic subject-matter.

The theme is a classic in Spanish painting in the early 20th century and is often handled by some of the most important painters, such as José Villegas in his "The Death of the Maestro", which is currently at the Museum of Fine Arts, Seville, and by Vázquez Díaz. Some years earlier, Andrés Parladé himself produced a large-scale painting where he described this same scene but with greater complexity, given the number of people who were surrounding the bullfighter who died in the bullring's infirmary. The stains on the suit give a realism to the story but which it is undermined by the presence of the cape --the capote de paseo worn before the main event-- which would never be used in the manoeuvres that separated the bull from the injured man in the ring. In the past, bullfighters wore their hats, as in this scene, until they killed the bull.

The variety of suits seen in this and other paintings on the same theme indicates that Parladé had a wide range of bullfighting suits to dress his models with, as well as suits from the 18th and 19th century. Although it is confirmed that the occasional novice sometimes acted as a model, in this it is clear, for obvious reasons, that none of the models appearing were professionals.

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  • Title: The Wounded Bullfighter (The Goring)
  • Creator: Parladé, Andrés. The Count of Aguiar
  • Date Created: 1921/1921
  • Location: Seville
  • Physical Dimensions: 173,3 x 111 cm
  • Type: Costumbrismo
  • Medium: Oil painting on canvas