The La Tauromaquia etchings comprise 33 images made by Goya, who was
fascinated by the bullring. Photograph: WestImage - Art Digital Studio/Sothebys
A pristine set of Goya’s famous bullfighting etchings, valued at up to £500,000, has been discovered in an old ledger in the library of a French chateau.
The etchings had been carefully mounted in the ledger using a dot of glue in each corner.
Photograph: WestImage - Art Digital Studio/Sothebys
The library was full of handsomely bound volumes, but at the back of one shelf the owners found a drab ledger, holding a rather dull series of 90 French military prints – and a few pages further on, a complete pristine set of the first edition of Goya’s La Tauromaquia etchings, apparently forgotten about for more than 150 years.
Severine Nackers, head of prints at Sotheby’s in London, where the set will be sold in April, described the prints, still in the 19th-century ledger ruled for columns of accounts, as “a once in a lifetime discovery”.
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