Study For Bullfight (left panel) was created in 1971 and is part of the infamous series of bullfight studies by Francis Bacon. In each study, a bull and matador collide in an intense snapshot of action in the centre of the ring. The study continues Bacon’s fascination with animals and humans, particularly his concern with the animosity of humankind suppressed by civilisation.
The signed print is part of an edition size of 150. The action in the scene is contained within a fiery orange interior. The murky sand of the ring is depicted hues of orange, green and brown suggesting the disturbance of the surface by the ‘dance’ between man and beast. A segment placed to the left of the ring extends upwards offering a snapshot of the baying crowd looking onto the pomp and spectacle of the bullfight. The beast’s limbs frantically buck and clatter.
United in bruise-toned hues, the bull and man become one mass of action. A flash of red at the bull’s front right hoof suggests blood shed or maybe the matador’s cape reminding the audience of the danger but also the contrived exhibition of this public tradition.