The Nude Maja was the first in a two painting series, the second of which was The Clothed Maja, respectively. It is said to be the first painting in which female pubic hair is visible, making it totally profane at the time. Many art historians agree that the model was a compilation of many female figures. It portrays a nude woman reclining on a bed of pillows, and was probably commissioned by Manuel de Godoy, to hang in his private collection in a separate cabinet reserved for nude paintings.
On 16 March the tribunal of the Inquisition issued a subpoena for Goy appear, "that he might acknowledge and declare the works to be his, why he created them, at whose request and to what end. His reply, if any, remains unknown. Though the canvases have aroused the curiosity of numerous scholars, the Inquisition's questions remain unanswered since the early nineteenth century We do not know who commissioned the paintings. Research focused first or the duchess of Alba, who had presented to Manuel Godoy, for his private study, Toilet of Venus of Diego Velazquez as well as a sixteenth-century Italian school Venus. It was there that Pedro Gonzalez de Sepulveda saw the Maja desnuda in If true, such an account supports arguments that the duchess herself served as the model, and that, as Viardot suggested in , she ordered the head altered to conceal her identity. More recent investigations incline toward the Prince Peace Godoy himself as patron: Goya had developed a most productive artistic relationship with him at the time.
Francisco Goya was a romanticist and is widely regarded as the most important Spanish artist of his era. Highly successful within his own lifetime he marks an artistic turning point as one of the last Old Masters and one of the first modern painters. His talents led him to an appointment as a court painter to the Spanish Crown and his early portrait works detail a wide array of the Spanish royalty and aristocracy. La Maja Desnuda depicts a nude woman laying back on a spread of pillows with the subject looking directly at the viewer with her hands resting behind her head. The background is dark and without feature, the light of the painting is solely focussed on the subject.
I suppose I will be accused of cynically employing cheap tactics in order to get people to read my blog but there is a connection between the two Goya paintings I am featuring in this blog with the dubious habits of a young school boy. It was not just any pen. It was a pen which had a picture of a beautiful and fully clothed young woman.