“Did you see a bullfight?”
While the bullfight is not for everyone, this is the question invariably asked any tourist visiting Spain upon returning home.
When in Madrid, even if arriving after the official bullfight season of March through September one may still get a glimpse of bullfighting’s theme by visiting the Museo Taurino De Madrid or Bullfight Museum
Aside from a routine explanation of the bullfight the art form’s history comes alive,. Opened in the 1960s and added to since then via a number of contributions, including some from the bullfighters themselves,.
One finds posters, mounted heads of bulls, capes, swords, banderillas, paintings, sculptures and more. There are ornamental capotes de paseo worn by the toreros as the make the opening parade and monteras, the hats utilized by the same.,
As on the sand, death is not far off and a key theme for the museum.
There are death masks of Frascuelo and the Mexican matador, Carlos Arruza, though neither was gored to death in the ring. Frascuelo died from natural causes and rests within the Carabanchel Cemetery on the outskirts of town, while Arruza wad killed in a car crash in Mexico in 1966.
The suits worn by Coli, Pepe Mata, Mariano Tornero and the legendary Manolete are all on display. Though originally a pale pink and gold, Manolete’s costume has lost color due to the lighting over the decades which have all but bleached it white, thought eh bloodstains left behind on the right leg from the fatal groin goring he received in 1947 are still vivid.
There is a portion of the suit worn by another great, Joselito, from when he was killed in 1920. After he took a horn in the intestines and was rushed to the infirmary, the medics tore off his costume with scalpels and scissors in a mad attempt to get to the wound, but all was too late and he passed into legend 20 minutes after reaching the operating table. Only the tattered vest remains and is on display for all to see. .
There are ample materials from those left alive by the bulls, also on display, including items related to El Gallo, El Juli, Manolo Bienvenida, Domingo Ortega, Chucho Solórzano and more.
Whether you love the bullfight or not, check out his magnificent museum which remains one of the best of its kind. Be sure also, to walk around the bullring and see the many sculptures on the exterior, which likewise reflect upon major moments in the history of la fiesta brava.