The Nude Maja & The Clothed Maja | Francisco Goya, 1800 - 1803

Francisco Goya, The Nude Maja, 1800
 the first explicit depiction of female pubic hair in a large Western painting, though others had hinted at it before.
Francisco Goya, The Clothed Maja, 1803, the more chaste, but teasingly provocative, companion panel.
Elliott Erwitt, Francisco Goya's The Nude Maja & The Clothed Maja 


Two of Goya's best known paintings are The Nude Maja (La maja desnuda) and The Clothed Maja (La maja vestida). They depict the same woman in the same pose, naked and clothed, respectively. Without a pretense to allegorical or mythological meaning, the painting was "the first totally profane life-size female nude in Western art".

The identity of the Majas is uncertain. The paintings were never publicly exhibited during Goya's lifetime; the Catholic Church had a fiercely enforced ban on the creation and display of artistic nudes. They were owned by Godoy, the Prime Minister of Spain and a favorite of the Queen, María Luisa.

In 1808 all Godoy's property was seized by Ferdinand VII after his fall from power and exile, and in 1813 the Inquisition confiscated both works as 'obscene', returning them in 1836 to the Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando.

The Kinks, Museo del Prado, 1966


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