Fight with a young bull (c.1780) by Francisco Goya

Fight with a young bull - Francisco Goya - c.1780

Artwork Information

TitleFight with a young bull
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Dimensions259 x 136 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationMuseo del Prado, Madrid, Spain

About Fight with a young bull

The artwork titled “Fight with a young bull” is an oil on canvas by the Spanish artist Francisco Goya, believed to have been completed around 1780. As a representation of the Romanticism art movement, it showcases certain elements of genre painting. The piece measures 259 by 136 centimeters and is housed in the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain. Goya is renowned for his critical and formative role within the Romantic movement, infusing his works with social commentary and bold portrayals of human nature.

In this particular artwork, Goya depicts a scene characterized by the dynamism and drama that are typical of the Romantic period. The canvas presents a vibrant confrontation between a group of men and a young bull. The figures are attired in traditional Spanish clothing recognizable from the 18th century, possibly reflecting popular attires of the lower classes or the costume of picadors, men who in bullfights would spear the bull to weaken it. The central figure wearing pink, poised with obvious grace, appears to be engaging directly with the animal, which adds a focal point of tension and action to the scene.

The background suggests an outdoor setting under an expansive sky, partially clouded, possibly indicating the unpredictable nature of the confrontation. The viewers gathered in the background, perched on what could be remnants of ancient stone structures, add to the narrative, creating a sense of participation and spectacle. The expressions on the faces of both the spectators and the men confronting the bull are rendered with care, offering a glimpse into the intense emotions associated with such an event. Overall, Goya’s work captures a moment of spirited interaction between humans and nature, enveloped in the cultural context of his time.

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