The Festival of the Bulls is, without a doubt, the Spanish National Fiesta. Andalusia is the cradle of bull-fighting at an international level and it is common to find bull celebrations in the fairs and festivals throughout the Andalusian towns and villages.
“Tauromachy” or the Art of Bullfighting refers to all that related to the practice of fighting with bulls, but also includes the build up to the spectacle itself: from the breeding of the bull to the making of the bullfighters’ costumes, posters, etc.
It’s a spectacle practiced in Spain (the main Standard of the fiesta), Portugal, the south of France and in Latin American countries such as Mexico, Columbia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Panama and Bolivia.
The art of bullfighting has been in Spain for centuries. It’s difficult to place an exact date, but what is certain is that depictions of bulls have even been found in prehistoric cave paintings.
The art of bullfighting has been evolving ever since, to become what it is today.
The evolution of bullfighting has followed different schools, with the most outstanding being those of Seville and Navarre. The origins of what we today know as bullfighting can be placed at the end of the XVII and beginning of the XVIII centuries.
The first bull celebration can be dated to 1701 in Bayona, where a bull fight was held in honour of Felipe V when he came to the throne. This was where El Licenciado de Falces began the bullfighting with a cape that we know today.
Since its very beginnings, bull fighting has been a great source of inspiration to many different types of artists. This fiesta, in which men are truly risking their lives, arouses great passions in painters, sculptors, musicians etc.
Without a doubt, it was in the first half of the XVII century that bullfighting really began to grow and evolve, thanks to the birth of the three great fathers of tauromachy:
- Juan Rodríguez Costillares, Sevilla 20th July1729
- José Delgado Guerra, Pepe-Hillo, Seville 14th March 1754
- Pedro Romero, Ronda 19th November 1754
You can find further information on bull fighting here.