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Torero El Buñolero Ignacio Zuloaga


Ignacio Zuloaga Eibar, Guipúzcoa, 1870 – Madrid, 1945

Culture Spanish
Date late 19th century
Object type painting
Medium, technique oil on canvas

180.3 x 100 cm

Inventory number 46.B
Collection Department of Art after 1800
On view Hungarian National Gallery Building D, First Floor, From Delacroix to Vasarely – Highlights from the Collection of International Art after 1800, Cabinet

Having cherished youthful ambitions of becoming a toreador, Zuloaga was intimately acquainted with the world of bullfighting and the characters that inhabited it. Prominent among his paintings, which are executed using a moderate palette of colours in a style reminiscent of the Old Masters, are portraits of toreadors, of which the present work is a particularly striking example. Known by his peers as the “doughnut seller”, or El Buñolero, Carlos Albarrán had made a living in his youth selling the Spanish fried dough fritters buñuelos, but at scarcely 20 years of age he found his vocation, ultimately becoming a distinguished figure in the bullrings of Madrid. It was he who opened the bullfight by unlocking the door of the pen and allowing the bull into the ring so that the fight could begin. He performed this task for 60 years, until the age of 84, only retiring in 1903. He witnessed the release of the bulls on 16,720 occasions. The artist has portrayed the elderly man in the ornate costume of a toreador, the red tones of his cloak reflected in the colours of the landscape behind him. The subject’s distinctive and expressive features, and the dashing figure that he retained even in old age, were captured in four portraits.

Adriána Lantos


Peregriny, János, Az Országos Magyar Szépművészeti Múzeum állagai. 3. rész, Új szerzemények. 1.füzet: a, Festmények; b, Festmények módjára kezelt műtárgyak, Országos Magyar Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest, 1914.

Tóth, Ferenc, Donátorok és képtárépítők. A Szépművészeti Múzeum Modern Külföldi Gyűjteményének kialakulása, Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest, 2012, p. 118., 171.

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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