The Bullfight

A bullfight on Madrid's Plaza Mayor (17th centuy).

Design Museum of Barcelona

Design Museum of Barcelona

The Bullfight (1710/1710) by UnknownDesign Museum of Barcelona

The main square was multipurpose public space, the main focus of the city, a centre of symbolic exchange between the people and the court, a great society theatre and a place of celebrations and for people and groups to meet.

From the outset the square was designed to be multifunctional, as it was used for markets, military parades, games and popular festivities, bullfights, weddings and birthdays.

For this reason the balconies were like theatre boxes or stands that could be acquired or rented, and were more expensive in those years with most bullfights or races.

The royal stand, from where the monarchs and their family usually presided over the show, is occupied only by the King and Queen, depicted slightly larger so that they stood out from their subjects.

The potter took great care to reproduce the typical clothing of the 17th century.

The men wear a slouch hat, dress hat, cape and breeches.

Similarly the women show off their ‘à la Fontanges’ hairstyles and mob caps, fashionable in France from 1690 onwards.

The bullfights attracted the greatest audience as they were the entertainment par excellence, and organised for any occasion to be celebrated.

The bullfight it was practised only by nobles on horseback who fought with a lance so as to display their bravery and daring, one of the characteristics of nobles in the medieval period...

...where the servants and hands helped them achieve their aims.

The size of the audience that attended the show is a testament to its success.

Those attending with greater resources could rent one of the balconies or stands, whilst the rest...

...crammed in behind the provisional barrier.

Credits: Story

Panel The Bullfight
Barcelona, 1710

Tin-glazed earthenware
122 x 386 cm.
MCB 52.771
Legacy of Joaquim de Càrcer, marquess of Castellbell, 1923

Text: Mª Antonia Casanovas

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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