|Matador in a position called Veronica|
VeronicaThis position was demonstrated to us as a direct challenge to the bull. The Matador raises his cape up to cover his body except for his head. The body being directly behind the cape poses a danger for the Matador. The sketch to the right is the basis for the painting which I did at the Plaza de Toros in Madrid.
Until his arrival in the ring, the bull has not seen a man on foot - important, this, as a bull quickly learns the rules of engagement: an experienced bull will not follow the cape but seek out the man behind it. The Toro bravo has been living the life of Riley, having the run of the open fields, feeding on organic foods, as befits a pure-blood fighting bull, a bull of casta. They are bred for courage and ferocity, some breeds, such as the feared Miuras, having achieved legendary status for their fighting spirit. Good bulls are indispensable to a good corrida, so that the breeder's name appears on the cartel along with that of the toreros; and this audience of knowledgeable aficionados is unforgiving. If the bull does not perform it must be changed! A corrida (in Spanish, a "running" of bulls, not a "fight") consists of a prologue - the paseillo - and three acts, called tercios. The number is symbolic: three matadors, three tercios, three charges at the picador (in theory), the placing of three pairs of banderillas or decorated darts, the tripartite participation of man, bull and public. . . In the first act, with the cape-passes followed by the arrival of the picadors, the matador notes the characteristics of his bull: Does he charge immediately, or hesitate? Does he charge straight? Does he hook to the left or the right? Does he toss his head at the end of a pass? How strong is he?
|All images contained herein are for viewing only and under the exclusive copyright of the artist. Phil Terry © 1997-2012|