The Bull Hunt in Campo San Polo

Joseph Heintz the Younger1648

Museo Correr

Museo Correr
Venice, Italy

The scene of the painting is one of the most beautiful and spacious "campi" (squares) in Venice, Campo San Polo, turned into an arena for the occasion. In the middle, in a colourful mix, the bulls can be seen set free among the crowd or held by the horns with stout ropes by "tiratori", while specially trained mastiff hounds, held back by 'cavacani', hurl themselves at them to bitetheir ears. The cruel show consisted of the skill of the "tiratori" at jerking the rope to help the bulls escape the dogs' attack; in turn, the infuriated bulls kicked and ran among the crowd of young men who ttok part in the game in the middle of the campobrazenly facing the danger.Everything took place amid shouting and hooting, and the encouragement and applause of the spectators in festive dress and masks.


  • Title: The Bull Hunt in Campo San Polo
  • Creator: Joseph Heintz the junger
  • Date Created: 1648
  • Physical Location: Venezia, Museo Correr, inv. Cl. I n. 2059
  • Physical Dimensions: 115 x 205 cm
  • Provenance: Gift of Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata, 1837
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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