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The Bulls of Bordeaux

As an old man, over 70 years of age, Goya was always willing to learn and try out new techniques, and around 1820 he experimented with a new graphic technique: lithography. Now in exile in Bordeaux, he met the lithographer Gaulon, who made his workshops available to Goya so he could make lithographs. This series was a result of working with this new technique, created between 1824 and 1825, which Goya hoped to sell at a print shop in Paris anonymously and for little money. They are masterpieces of lithography. The prints are signed by Goya in the lower left corner.

Around 100 copies were printed at Gaulon’s workshop and complete collections are very rare today. With them, Goya sought to achieve painterly effects like those he attained in his paintings. They were made with a seeming carelessness, as corrections can be seen in the use of the lithographic stylus, but they surprise with the spontaneity and verve demonstrated by an almost octogenarian Goya in his representations of the people and animals. These scenes can be related to some paintings on aspects of bullfighting that he painted in those years.

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Outstanding works