Meet the Masters
VILLAMIL, EUGENIO LUCAS (1858-1918) (VEE yah meel, A oo HAY neeo LOO kass)
THE BULLFIGHT NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART WASHINGTON, D.C.
Neo Classicism & Romanticism Date: circa - 1827 Size: 29” x 43 1/4” Medium: Oil on canvas
ARTIST - Lucas Villamil was the son of a famous 19th Spanish Century painter, Eugenio Lucas Valazquez. Although his father died when he was only 12, Lucas Villamil modeled his father’s painting style. Both he and his father continued to produce copies and imitations of the works of Francisco Goya. In fact, the younger Lucas' paintings are often confused with his father's works.
Lucas Villamil lived a modest life in Madrid. During his painting career, he had one major patron. This collector hired him to paint a fresco in his Madrid hacienda, which is now the Museum Lazaro Galdiano.
PRINT - For many years the National Gallery of Art experts thought that the famous Spanish painter Francisco Goya had painted this picture. Through further research the National Gallery of Art has now assigned this painting to Eugenio Lucas Villamil. One of the reasons for this confusion was that the painting shows both a bullfighting scene and the popular game of climbing a greased pole in a small formal area. Although both these activities were popular at the time, they only took place in a large village square during a fiesta. They never occured in the same small area, as in this the picture.
On the left, a group of young men cluster about what is probably a greased pole. Climbing this pole was a favorite sport at country fairs. The second action, at the right, is probably an amateur bullfight in which many men taunt the bull. They are wearing brightly colored cloaks in front of the bull, as professional bullfighters do in the bullring. Spain has more than 400 bullrings. In Spain and Mexico, the matador kills the bull. In Portugal and in some bullrings in France, it is illegal to kill the bull.
In the painting The Bullfight, Lucas Villamil gives little attention to the spectators in the arena. He relies on broad hasty stokes to show crowds of people. The people look as if they are fused together into one untidy mass of bright strident color. In The Bullfight, you can almost feel the excitement of the crowds, and the cruelty and horror of the bullfights.
PORTFOLIO F PAIRED WITH:
PIPPIN THE DOMINO PLAYERS