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The clothed maja

Painting, XIX century, 97×190 cm

Description of the artwork «The clothed maja»

"He, Goya, portrayed in this naked and dressed, but still naked woman of all women whom have ever slept in bed or in sekute. He pictured the body, calling to all kinds of pleasures. And two faces, one full of expectations and lust, frozen lust, cruel, alluring, dangerous look; the other a bit sleepy, slowly awakening after quenched the passion and are already hungry for new pleasures".
Lion Feuchtwanger. "Goya, or the Heavy way of knowledge"

"Maha dressed", according to legend, was written later "Mahi Nude", with the help of a special mechanism to close an open counterpart. Picture painted on canvas of the same size, and the young woman lying on that bed, leaning back on the same trimmed with lace, white and dull-green cushions. Her posture almost quote verbatim the pose of her naked identical twin – is that the legs a little less bent at the knees. She's wearing a strange outfit, which has no relationship to genuine costumes Maha – girdled by a wide pink sash white dress that reflects the body like Batiste nightgown, pale yellow, embroidered with gold and black sequins, short jacket, reminiscent of the costume of a Torero and implausible tiny pointy gold shoes (that Goya gave the lot of women in their portraits).

As the naked portrait, the viewer has nothing to distract from the heroine: the surrounding background shimmers with shades of your favorite Goya silver-gray and silver-olive uniform without bright spots or glare, all the light collected on the bed and a woman all the color and the design details only on the woman.

The first contender for the role of model Goya has long been considered Maria Caetano de Silva, 13th Duchess of Alba. For this we must thank lion Feuchtwanger and his excellent book "Goya, or the Heavy way of knowledge" - the alleged affair of the artist and the Duchess was there described with such passionate conviction that the biographers can only speculate about its real duration (because of the fact that the novel was not, nobody would believe). Cayetana Alba, the granddaughter of "hangman of the Netherlands" of the Duke of Alba, was beautiful, headstrong, brash, unpredictable, and certainly without any embarrassment stripped to the artist (and, presumably, lover). Besides, its origin, the name and the popularity that she enjoyed in Spain, allowed her to not really afraid to do things and on the verge of decency, and on the verge of the law.
Proponents of this hypothesis do not mind a very vague resemblance of the person "max" with the preserved portraits of Caetani – because Goya is known for its ability to give the terms of anonymity.

The second candidate for the role of "Mahi" is Josefa (Pepa) Tudo – lover and (possibly) the secret wife of all-powerful first Minister of Spain, Manuel Godoy, the favorite of Queen Marie-Louise.
By assumption Feuchtwanger, both paintings were repurchased by Godoy from the heirs of the late Duchess of Alba, but if you believe the testimony of a certain Pedro Gonzalez de Sepulveda, Godoy showed him dressed and naked blunder in 1800, during the life of Caetani, together with other paintings from his collection of naked beauties (by the way, among them was "Venus with a mirror" by Velazquez).
In 1808 both paintings were confiscated by the Inquisition, and then appeared in the collection of the Academy of San Fernando, and in 1901 was transferred to the Prado.
I must say, the current members of the genus Alba not happy to be heirs of that may lay on the crumpled sheets in front of a deaf artist, and was willing to give him this honor even though Josefa Tudo, although any other long-deceased beauty of the numerous mistresses of Godoy, or the Goya. In the end, in 1945, they decided to exhume the bones of Caetani, hoping the measurements to prove the lack of similarity between his papapetropoulou and "Naked Mahou", but alas is almost the only one clearly given the picture ratio – the proportion of the length of the femur and tibia, and these bones had been broken, when Napoleon's soldiers threw the remains of the Duchess from the tomb.

Author: Oksana Sanzharova
from 1450 rub
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Portrait

Style of art: Romanticism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: XIX century

Size: 97×190 cm

Artwork in selections: 17 selections

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