Bullfighting as art?

At what point did the “art” defense for bullfighting start being used? Now it is an argument used a lot, that bullfighting itself is art. Yet, no one would ever call American football an art, I don’t think, nor would they call a butcher shop art. Are rodeos art? Anyone have any good articles or ideas of where I could explore this a little more?

One thought on “Bullfighting as art?

  1. I don’t know about the “artistic” discourse around the bullfight, but I would venture that the use of the word derived from another meaning of “arte”: not “arte” as in Gaguin but “arte” as “the exercise of human skill”. In Spanish we use the word a lot, specially (since we’re embracing stereotypes) when someone made a delicious tortilla de patatas: “¡qué arte!”, o “la paella tiene su arte” (now totally bedraggled in the sterotype). I think that in English this also exists, but I think is less common. This is, of course, from the top of my head, and I haven’t address the question at all.

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