The unlucky death of Pepe Illo in the ring at Madrid, Plate 33 of La Tauromaquia
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The unlucky death of Pepe Illo in the ring at Madrid, Plate 33 of La Tauromaquia 1816
José Delgado Guerra, alias Pepe Illo, was one of the greatest matadors of the eighteenth century. In 1796 he published a book on bullfighting, which claimed that style, flamboyance, and the amusement of the public were more important than pure technical precision. In the course of his career he was seriously wounded thirteen times before the fatal incident shown in this print. Pepe was about to kill the bull named Barbudo, but was gored by a fatal hook from its right horn. He was then tossed around for over one minute. Pepe is shown in his dying moments, still clasping at the bull’s right horn. This is the last etching that Goya made in the La Tauromaquia series. He was the first artist to end a bullfight series by depicting not the death of the bull, but that of the matador.

Glossary Open

Etching

A form of printmaking in which a metal plate is covered with a substance called a 'ground', usually wax, into which an image is drawn with a needle. Acid is applied, eroding the areas of the plate exposed but not the areas covered by wax. The action of the acid creates lines in the metal plate that hold the ink from which a print is made when the plate is pressed against paper under pressure.

Etching

Details

  • Acc. No. GOYA.135
  • Medium Etching, burnished aquatint, drypoint and burin on paper
  • Size 24.50 x 35.00 cm
  • Credit Purchased 1980