Francisco de Goya y Lucientes

Dreadful events in the front rows of the ring at Madrid and the death of the mayor of Torrejón, Plate 21 of La Tauromaquia

About this artwork

This print records the panic at a bullfight which actually took place in Madrid on 15 June 1801. A bull escaped from the ring and jumped into the front row of the spectators’ stand, killing two members of the crowd. One of the fatalities was the mayor of Torrejón, shown here impaled on the bull’s horns and lifted into the air. Goya’s choice of composition was somewhat unusual; he placed all of the activity to the right, leaving the left half of the print almost blank. The terror of the crowd in flight contrasts with the stillness of the bull, which can no longer see as the body of the gorged victim is obscuring its vision. The success of the image relies on the uncomfortable realisation that in this instance, beast has dominated man.

  • title:
    Dreadful events in the front rows of the ring at Madrid and the death of the mayor of Torrejón, Plate 21 of La Tauromaquia
  • accession number:
    P 2810.22
  • artist:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • materials:
    Etching, burnished aquatint, lavis, drypoint and burin on paper
  • date created:
    1816
  • measurements:
    Plate mark: 24.50 x 35.50 cm
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1980

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes