Francisco de Goya

The Clothed Maja (La maja vestida)

The Clothed Maja (La maja vestida)
Datos Generales
1800 - 1807
The Prado National Museum. Madrid, Madrid, Spain
95 x 188 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil on canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Documented work
El Prado National Museum
Ficha: realización/revisión
04 Feb 2010 / 16 Sep 2021

This work formed part of Manuel Godoy's art collection. Following the Aranjuez uprising of 1808 and the abdication of King Charles IV that same year, the work was seized, along with other items, by order of Ferdinand VII. Between 1808 and 1813 it was stored, together with The Nude Maja, at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando and in 1813 it was confiscated by the Inquisition. It was kept at the Madrid academy from 1836 until 1901, when it entered the collection of the Prado Museum, being mentioned in the museum's catalogue for the first time in 1910.

Análisis artístico

It is thought that this canvas could have been painted several years after its pair, The Nude Maja.

The first mention of this painting dates back to 1808 and the inventory that Fréderic Quilliet, an agent of Joseph Bonaparte, drew up of the estate of Manuel Godoy (Badajoz, 1767-Paris, 1851). In 1813, in the inventory made following the seizure of Godoy's property by Ferdinand VII, the two majas are referred to as "gypsies".

Here we see the figure of the maja reclining on a green divan which is partially covered by a white bedspread and pillows. Her legs are slightly bent and her arms are folded behind her head. She is wearing delicate transparent clothes, tied around her waist by a pink silk sash. On her shoulders she wears a short yellow jacket with black decoration. On her feet is a pair of pointed shoes, the same colour as the jacket. Poking out from underneath the woman's hip we can see a reddish object which some writers have suggested could be the hilt of a dagger, although other scholars believe it to simply be a closed fan.

The artist has made use of a greater degree of artistic freedom in this painting than in the much more academic treatment employed in The Nude Maja. Here, loose brushstrokes and thickly applied paint are used to recreate the maja's clothing. Goya deftly captures the folds in the white fabric covering her body and the shimmering cloth of her pink sash and pointed shoes. More time has been spent on rendering the flesh tones of the face and the dark curly hair.

The woman's posture reveals certain similarities with another female portrait by Goya, that of Joaquina Téllez-Girón y Alfonso Pimentel, Marchioness of Santa Cruz (1805, Prado Museum, Madrid). Both women are shown dressed in the clothing that perhaps best characterized their personalities. In the present work, the woman is dressed as a maja, whilst the Marchioness of Santa Cruz is dressed as Erato, the muse of romantic poetry. Both women are shown in seductive poses and adopting an attitude which challenges the traditional coyness and reserve of female figures. The intelligence and directness of their gaze is also remarkable, revealing the resolute, active personality of these women. In these paintings, Goya demonstrates how a woman's intelligence and attitude can prove to be at least as seductive as her naked form.

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    The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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Ficha en SAAC

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Enlaces externos
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