Goya's Naked Maja is one of the first fearless nudes in the history of art - regarding the time of its creation, it is rendered sensuously, animalistically and without the necessary decorations such as flowers, nature or silk. Moreover, Goya was almost the only one in his time who dared to depict female pubic hair. The model is alone in the picture ( mythological figures were often used to obscure the nude), she looks directly at the viewer and is aware of her nudity, of which she is apparently not ashamed. The picture is brightly lit, which adds to its liveliness and openness. It is therefore no coincidence that Goya had been investigated by the Spanish Inquisition in 1815 for his painting The Naked Maya.
Not much is known about the origin of the painting. The first owner is documented to have been the Prime Minister Manuel de Godoy, Count of Alcudia. However, it is just the hypothesis, that the painting shows his young mistress, Petita Tudó. Along with the so-called Clothed Maja, it may also be of María del Pilar Teresa Cayetana de Silva y Álvarez de Toledo, the thirteenth Duchess of Alba, with whom Goya had a romantic affair. X-rays of the painting showed that the woman's face had been painted over and it is possible that after the Count's marriage, when the face of his mistress replaced that of his wife.
The Dressed Maja was created as a reaction to public outrage - Goya refused to paint a dress on the Naked Maja, preferring instead to paint a completely new painting. The Naked Maja found itself on Spanish postage stamps in the 1930s, which had a humorous twist, as letters marked with this stamp were not allowed in the U.S.
The word Maja also has its own meaning in Spanish - it refers to passionate women in provocative clothing. Coming often from from the lower classes, they wore colourful dresses with deep necklines and exposed ankles. They made a living selling all kinds of ware in the street. The wealthy classes entertained themselves by imitating their dress and behaviour in various social and masquerade games. Such dress eventually became a symbol of protest against the domination of French fashion and is still the basis of the Spanish national costume today.
Goya painted image Naked Maja in 1800. This art piece is located in Prado, Madrid, Spain. Original image is made as oil on canvas. Prevailing color of this fine art print is brown and its shape is long. This image is printed on demand - you can choose material, size and finishing.Date:
oil on canvasLocation:
Prado, Madrid, SpainDimensions:
98 x 191 cmFrancisco de Goya (1746-1828).
Born in Spain, the son of a goldsmith. His work is characterized by loose brush strokes, an unprecedented release from the obligation to draw exactly according to reality. His works are among the precursors of many future artistic directions (Realism
, Impressionism, Expressionism,
). He became the court painter to Charles IV and a member of the Academy. Among Goya’s most famous works are the cycle Disasters of War
(eg. The Third of May 1808
, a picture painted during the Spanish revolution against France, in which Goya utilises his typical brush strokes and plays with light, clearly showing on which side he stands) and portraits Clothed Maja
and Naked Maja
. The nude was, for the time, sensual, natural, and without unnecessary decorations (flowers, nature, silk). It is no coincidence that, for this painting, Goya was prosecuted by the Inquisition.
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