Monday, 7 January 2013

First clear depictions of female pubic hair...............4113

La maja desnuda

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

La maja desnuda (known in English as The Nude Maja or sometimes The Naked Maja) is an oil on canvas painting by the Spanish painter Francisco Goya (1746–1828), portraying a nude woman reclining on a bed of pillows. It was executed some time between 1797 and 1800, and is among the first clear depictions of female pubic hair in a large Western painting.[1] The painting has been in the Museo del Prado in Madrid since 1910.

La maja desnuda

Artist Francisco Goya
Year circa 1797–1800
Type Oil on canvas
Dimensions 97 cm × 190 cm (38 in × 75 in)
Location Museo del Prado, Madrid



La maja vestida, ca. 1803.
Goya created another painting of the same woman identically posed, but clothed, entitled La maja vestida (The Clothed Maja); also in the Prado, it is usually hung next to La maja desnuda. The identity of the model and why the paintings were created are still unknown. Both paintings were first recorded as belonging to the collection of Prime Minister Manuel de Godoy, Duke of Alcudia, and it has been conjectured that the woman depicted was his young mistress. It has also been suggested that the woman was María del Pilar Teresa Cayetana de Silva y Álvarez de Toledo, 13th Duchess of Alba, with whom Goya is rumored to have been romantically involved and did complete known portraits of. However, many scholars have rejected this possibility, including Australian art critic Robert Hughes in his 2003 biography, Goya. Many agree that Pepita Tudó is a more likely candidate. Others believe the woman depicted is actually a composite of several different models.
View of the two paintings side by side
In 1815, the Spanish Inquisition summoned Goya to reveal who commissioned him to create La maja desnuda. If Goya gave an explanation of the painting's origin to the Inquisition, that account has never surfaced. Two sets of stamps depicting La maja desnuda in commemoration of Goya's work were privately produced in 1930, and later approved by the Spanish Postal Authority. That same year, the United States government barred and returned any mail bearing the stamps.
Goya not only upset the ecclesiastical authorities, titillated the public, and extended the artistic horizon of the day. His work inspired other artists. Jeffrey Meyers, for example, in his book Impressionist Quartet: The Intimate Genius of Manet and Morisot, Degas and Cassatt, opines that Manet's Olympia "boldly alluded to another masterpiece, Goya's Naked Maja."

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