This monograph arises from a fan of my own collection, produced in great toreador LUIGI MAZZANTINI's honour, in the years around 1890. An other example is at Museo Nacional des Artes Decoratives of Madrid (see also p. 75 - Nancy Armstrong - Fans in Spain - 2004). It has a printed paper double leaf. The sticks are in bronze colour wood, the guard sticks are shaped as a bamboo. Verso is red. On the recto there is a medaillon with Luigi Mazzantini's portrait; on the left, the famous toreador in the bull-ring; on the right, he himself near a train.


He was born at Pistoia (Tuscany - Italy), by a Basque mother. His father's name was Giuseppe. Luigi was the cousin of my paternal great-grandmother Iole Mazzantini. He was baptized on October, 10th 1856 in Elgožbar, but surely he was born before. He was a tireless reader, a man of deep culture and, according to all those who knew him, a very nice person. He studied at Livorno, Milan and Rome, and in 1875 he took his degree in Fine Arts and Classical Studies. In 1870 he went to Spain among the Amedeo of Savoia's suite, as a private secretary of a court's personage. After, he became also a South's Railway official. He was also an opera singer, but he was unsuccessful. A famous quip of his own says that to become famous in Spain one must be a tenor or a matador, but he was not able to give the "chest-C"! Afterwards, he consecrates as matador at Seville, on April 13st 1884, but the official confirmation arrived at Madrid on May, 29th of the same year. In 1885 he went to Cuba and Mexico. In 1887 he triumphed in the Charity Bullfight. From 1889, for a couple of years, he was always considered the first torero of Madrid. He was a great matador thanks to his ability and very good looks (he was tall and vigorous): he excelled both with the muleta and with the banderillas. He killed more than 2700 bulls, and he arrived to make, in 1890, 6000 pesetas each bullfight. He obtained to draw the bulls by lots, which he claimed in his agreements, from 1897. He was an "aficionado" of El Puerto de Santa Maria (Cadiz), and he was the touristic promoter of the locality, where he spent the winters in the "Recreo de Mazzantini", a vast estate still extant. It is said that he was in love with a little Spanish gipsy, whom he had a natural son from. When he retired he dedicated to politics, being elected town councillor of Madrid in 1906 and later Governor of Guadalajara y Avila. He died on April, 23rd 1926 in Madrid, covered with honours and glory.




The Italian Exhibition London 1888

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La storia raccontata dai ventagli_1


La storia raccontata dai ventagli_2