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Bowing to the bull: a study of Goya's Tauromaquia etchings present in MASP collection

Grant number: 19/17706-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2020
Effective date (End): February 28, 2022
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History
Principal researcher:Patricia Dalcanale Meneses
Grantee:Érica Boccardo Burini
Home Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The project focuses on five Goya Tauromaquia etchings that are part of MASP collection, and it aims artworks' dynamic construction of meaning in their trajectory through time and space. The works are marked by important passages, such as the design by the artist's hands in the turbulent Spanish nineteenth-century, the migration to France in the collection of the writer Victor Hugo, and the donation to the Brazilian museum by Assis Chateaubriand in 1955. The analysis is supported by historical documentation but also by materiality, which offers traces of an "object biography". The investigation has its beginning even before the artistic creation, in material origins that brought prints to life, such as the English provenance of copper plates. Thus, it is possible to trace which flows are responsible for migrations of these etchings from the European canon to the Brazilian collection, and these transits consequences. Some of these works' features are especially conducive to this study perspective: the fact that these are prints, whose technical nature of reproducibility results in a variety of unique objects biographies in a global reach; the theme itself, bullfights, brings a series of associated elements, political, ideological, social, legal and ethical, that undergo transformations in these works migrations; and finally, the way the theme is represented, Goya's mark, an established artist in historiography, and the transfigurations of his legacy according to the circulation of these prints until their settlement in Brazil, and the importance of the works' presence in national collections for the constitution of Brazilian art history itself. (AU)

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