Magazine

Apr 22, 2016

The Matador

The Matador

At the Real Maestranza arena the crowd enjoys a tradition that dates back over a thousand years. Wearing an embroidered gold and white outfit and wielding a long thin sword, the matador taunts the 600-kilo bull with his cape, dodging its horns again and again. Despite the full stands at the bullring, which hosted its first fight in 1761, the sport attracts an increasingly slim audience, as new generations shun what they see as a cruel and unfair fight. Matadors say those who oppose bullfighting don't understand the bullring's intimacy or the artistry of the fight. To finish off the bout, matadors deliver the "estocada," a deft strike through the bull's shoulder blades to pierce its heart.
It all looks romantic, but when you know the bulls are bred purely for the sport of killing them it loses it's shine.

The Matador
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Spanish matador Borja Jimenez prepares to perform a pass to a bull during a bullfight at the Real Maestranza bullring in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain April 4, 2016. At the Real Maestranza arena the crowd enjoys a tradition that dates back over a thousand years. Wearing an embroidered gold and white outfit and wielding a long thin sword, the matador taunts the 600-kilo bull with his cape, dodging its horns again and again. Despite the full stands at the bullring, which hosted its first fight in 1761, the sport attracts an increasingly slim audience, as new generations shun what they see as a cruel and unfair fight. Matadors say those who oppose bullfighting don't understand the bullring's intimacy or the artistry of the fight. To finish off the bout, matadors deliver the "estocada," a deft strike through the bull's shoulder blades to pierce its heart. MARCELO DEL POZO/REUTERS

The Matador
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French matador Sebastian Castella puts his montera before a bullfight at the Real Maestranza bullring in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain April 7, 2016. MARCELO DEL POZO/REUTERS

The Matador
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Spanish picadores Francisco Romero (L), 26, and Agustin Romero, 25, pose for a portrait before a bullfight at the Real Maestranza bullring in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain April 5, 2016. MARCELO DEL POZO/REUTERS

The Matador
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Spanish matador Pepe Moral touches his face before a bullfight at the Real Maestranza bullring in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain April 5, 2016. MARCELO DEL POZO/REUTERS

The Matador
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Spanish matador Javier Jimenez stretches before a bullfight at the Real Maestranza bullring in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain April 5, 2016. MARCELO DEL POZO/REUTERS

The Matador
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Spanish assistant bullfighter Francisco Javier Sanchez Araujo (R) gives a rose to Spanish matador Morante de la Puebla who holds a trophy, an ear of a bull, during a bullfight at the Real Maestranza bullring in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain April 15, 2016. MARCELO DEL POZO/REUTERS

The Matador
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Spanish assistant bullfighter Vicente Herrera stands during a bullfight at the Real Maestranza bullring in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain April 7, 2016. MARCELO DEL POZO/REUTERS

The Matador
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Spanish matador Pepe Moral celebrates after winning a trophy, an ear of the bull, during a bullfight at the Real Maestranza bullring in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain April 5, 2016. MARCELO DEL POZO/REUTERS

The Matador
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Spanish matador Jose Maria Manzanares holds his bullfighter's "muleta" during a bullfight at the Real Maestranza bullring in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain April 9, 2016. MARCELO DEL POZO/REUTERS

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Spanish matador David Mora is seen after driving a sword into a bull to kill it during a bullfight at the Real Maestranza bullring in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain April 11, 2016. MARCELO DEL POZO/REUTERS

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A Spanish assistant bullfighter walks before a bullfight at the Real Maestranza bullring in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain April 4, 2016. MARCELO DEL POZO/REUTERS

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Spanish matador Javier Castano washes his face splattered by bull's blood after killing it during a bullfight at the Real Maestranza bullring in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain April 17, 2016. MARCELO DEL POZO/REUTERS

The Matador
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Peruvian matador Roca Rey washes his face after killing a bull during a bullfight at the Real Maestranza bullring in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain April 15, 2016. MARCELO DEL POZO/REUTERS

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Spanish assistant bullfighter Manuel Rodriguez "Mambru" waits for the start a bullfight at the Real Maestranza bullring in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain April 16, 2016. MARCELO DEL POZO/REUTERS

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Spanish matador Lopez Simon stands during a bullfight at the Real Maestranza bullring in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain April 7, 2016. MARCELO DEL POZO/REUTERS

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Spanish matador Julian Lopez "El Juli" walks wounded in his right gluteus after being gored by a bull during a bullfight at the Real Maestranza bullring in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain April 15, 2016. MARCELO DEL POZO/REUTERS

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