2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 12:28
The painting "Nude Maja" stands alone in the gallery of portraits of the famous artist. First of all, because this is one of the first paintings in the world, which depicts a real naked model, and not a goddess or heroine of myths. The second reason for the interest in the painting is the relationship between the model and the artist. Let's try to figure out what attracts today this canvas written more than two centuries ago.
"Naked Maha" and "Clothed Maha". Nuances
The picture "Nude Maja" is one of two paired works of the artist. The second is indicated in the title of the current paragraph. This is “Maha dressed”. This is not at all a repetition of Titian's Love on Earth and Heaven, this is not a diptych! Few doubt that the second picture was made by the artist in order to hide the first, in order to defend the image of real, hot, human sensuality, not fettered by social and religious conventions, in the age of darkness of the Spanish Inquisition.dogmas. The second picture is a clear copy of the first. It is also technically well executed (the great Goya could draw a human hand with one stroke of the brush), but people pass by without noticing it.
And the picture "Nude Maha" screams: "Look how good My woman is!". And people are really watching.
That's why this woman in the picture is "maha", and not a girl, for example. Both the artist himself and his entourage, of course, considered him to be “maho”, that is, despising conventions, strong, strong-willed, fearless, fiercely resisting the oppression of reality.
Machism subculture in Madrid at the time of F. Goya
Maho - this word sounded loudly in Spain in the 18th and 19th centuries. Appearing as a protest against the growing French influence on the life and culture of Spain, this movement captured almost all sectors of Spanish society. Its main part was made up of poor provincials who had enough money to dress in national Spanish clothes, and urban commoners (servants, cooks, artisans). These people wanted to spit on the laws and rules established in society. In their free time, they gathered on the city streets, making noise and having fun: they danced with castanets and tambourine, deliberately and emotionally sorted out relations with each other, sometimes using knives, which were obligatory for men and women who wore them with garters.
The author of the painting "Nude Maja" Goya is clearly "macho". Men were called that way (compare with today's meaning of the word "macho"). And the women are maha.
Maha wasthe personification of a real Spanish woman: a combination of indomitable temperament, romanticism, picturesqueness and a national accent in clothes (a mantilla is required!) And love of freedom. Simply put, Carmen from the opera of the same name.
The life of all Mahos was so unusual and colorful, especially for the Spaniards who loved the effects during the Inquisition, which forbade everything in the world, that even very rich people tried to look like Mahos, at least in clothes.
The Duchess of Alba also considered herself a "maha"
Francisco Goya and the Duchess of Alba
Became famous over the centuries thanks to the genius of the great Goya, the Duchess of Alba (full name: Donna Maria del Pilar Teresa Cayetana de Silva and Alvarez de Toledo Marquis de Villabranca Duchess of Alba) was not only a very rich and noble patroness, but also a mistress artist. It is impossible to doubt this, since, looking at the canvas, it is easy to imagine the relationship between the artist and the model. It is as if to see how the one who painted the painting "Nude Maja" creates the strongest work in terms of sexual impact on the viewer.
And the second work was written to protect not only the artist himself from the Inquisition, but also his beautiful mistress. It was she who was introduced to the ministers of the church, who asked about what the artist and his we althy philanthropist were doing. It is also well known that the artist also had to redo the face of the model in both paintings - this is not the face of Doña Maria del Pilar.
The life of Francisco Goya in literature and cinema
Additional fame to the great artist Francisco Goya and his "Nude Maja" certainly brought an appeal to his fate by the German writer Lion Feuchtwanger. His novel "Goya, or the Hard Way of Knowledge" (1951) is very famous and loved by several generations. He tells about the history of writing the painting "Nude Maja", about the relationship between the Duchess of Alba and Francisco Goya, as a novel, where the loving duchess, satisfying her vanity, uses the temperament of a genius and her own body to create an artistic miracle. This is a story about the complexity of human feelings, it makes you think: the Duchess of Alba is an extravagance and a spoiled child for whom everything in this life is a game, or the smartest woman who is madly in love with the artist. Just maha.
From 1958 to 2006, 5 films about the artist were released in the world. The plot of the three is based on the romance between F. Goya and the Duchess of Alba, as well as the creation of the painting "Naked Maja".
One of the best films was directed by the famous director Bigas Luna, starring Aytana Sanchez-Gijon, the main female role is the world-famous beauty Penelope Cruz.
The bright future of work
It can be assumed that the novel and films about Francisco Goya will go away, becoming boring classics, but it is unlikely that the author of the painting "Nude Maja" will remain forgotten by descendants, just as Rafael, Durer or Andrei Rublev are not forgotten today.
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