The Preparation

Bulls, like cows, are reared on farms.
Unlike Ferdinand† they're soon - 5 years old –
fierce HUGE with wide heads & upturned horns.
Twisting about they charge like rhinos!

The Entry

The procession is in 3 ranks.
1 The Espadas (the matadors)
2 The Banderilleros (they place the darts)
3 The Picadors (pikemen on horses)

The Fight Begins

The president ceremoniously throws the key to an official.
He opens the toril with a flourish, & the bull
surprised at the brilliance
gloriously tears      slides     to the centre.
He takes stock of the nearest picador
& decides to demolish him.
The surviving picadors retire.
The bull (breathing heavily with head hanging)
angrily charges a flourished cape.
Grazing a banderillero he receives 2 darts in his neck.


The Espada Greets the President
    (A Trumpet Sounds)

The bull
thinking of his farm perhaps
stares at the matador.
3 times
at each wave of the muleta
he passes & repasses him.
the matador smiles confidently & the crowd roars.

The curved blade
passing close to several obstructions
cuts an artery or enters the heart.


  Coup de Grâce

A chulo
with dagger if the sword is misplaced
quickly severs the animal's spine.

Immediately 3 mules drag the bull from the ring.

A second espada with entourage enters . . .

† A magnificent bull (in the story by Munro Leaf)
who pointblank refuses to fight.


The bullfight (except to the bull) is a ceremony, & can be pictured as a dance, a ballet.

One ought to be able to see it as the bull - carefully trained on the farm sees it. Picasso expresses with a few dots & strokes (looking through the disillusioned animal's eyes) the contrast between a grand even contest & the contrived superiority of matadors.

Even the frequent distasteful sight of a rag-&-bone furiously gored horse - his vocal chords muted - can be accepted as an unfortunate part of the action or ignored.