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Penn's Arthur Ross Gallery presents La Tauromaquia: Carnicero, Goya and Picasso
Pablo Picasso, Citando Al Toro con la Capa (Provoking the Bull with the Cape) from the series La Tauromaquia, 1957. Yale University Art Gallery, The Arthur Ross Collection.

PHILADELPHIA, PA.- In celebration of the Arthur Ross Gallery’s 30th Anniversary, La Tauromaquia: Carnicero, Goya, and Picasso presents 70 master prints collected by the Arthur Ross Foundation. The prints explore the long-revered tradition of the Spanish bullfight by featuring the works of three extraordinary artists – Carnicero, Goya and Picasso – who interpreted this popular entertainment in very different ways. This is the first time all 70 prints are on display in a single exhibition, which runs from April 19 through July 28, 2013.

In the 18th century, the bullfight was both a sport and an entertainment in Spain, democratically beloved from royalty to the lower classes. A skilled matador often became a famed national hero, and his fighting in the corrida was considered a fully developed art form.

As Ernest Hemingway wrote: “Bullfighting is the only art in which the artist is in danger of death and in which the degree of brilliance in the performance is left to the fighter’s honor.”

Antonio Carnicero’s (1748-1814) seven etchings and title sheet from Colleción de las principals suertes de una corrida de toros (Collection of the main actions in a bullfight), executed in 1790, illustrate the highly ritualized stages of the bullfight. In 1816, at the age of 70, Francisco Goya published the first edition of 33 prints on La Tauromaquia in Madrid. His daring compositions and dramatic chiaroscuro accentuate the drama that unfolds in the ring. Several decades later, Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), the brilliant 20th-century artist, turned to bullfighting for his subject matter. In a single afternoon in 1957 he completed 26 plates for La Tauromaquia, o arte de torear, Pepe Illo’s treatise, for the Ediciones La Cometa specialist collection.

La Tauromaquia: Carnicero, Goya and Picasso is the culmination of exhibitions celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Arthur Ross Gallery. The Gallery was the brainchild of Penn President Emeritus Mr. Martin Meyerson and Mr. Arthur Ross. In 1983, they established the Arthur Ross Gallery on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania for the benefit of the Philadelphia and University communities. It has since expanded to a much broader focus, embracing an eclectic program of changing exhibitions in all fields of the visual arts and cultural artifacts from around the world.

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