Dead Toreador, 1864 originally formed part of a much larger one, Incident in the Bull Ring, which was exhibited at the 1864 Salon. Manet, dissatisfied with it, cut it in two. One half, Bullfight, is in the Frick Collection
in New York, and the other is this Dead Toreador, which was the lower part of the original work. (Manet is known to have cut up several of his pictures in this way.)
"it is not possible that Manet should never have had a second view of Francisco Goya and El Greco, through some intermediary." - comments by some art critics.
This is one of Manet's most sensitive and delicate works. Although the body is perhaps a little wooden, or at any rate exaggeratedly stiff, the color harmonies reveal Manet as a master colorist. What words can describe the old-rose of the muleta, the silvery, silken texture of the white stockings and sash, and the deep, resonant blacks against the dark olive background.