The First Modern Artist
Francisco de Goya y Lucientes was 78 years old, stone-deaf and impoverished when, in 1824, he left his Spanish homeland for exile in Bordeaux. By then he was a wreck. He was sick and all alone. The Spanish Inquisition, offended by the candor of his nude “The Naked Maja,” had pursued him for obscenity. He had witnessed, and depicted, the most searing of atrocities–murders, rapes, garrotings and the corpses stuck on spikes of the Napoleonic Wars. Seven of his children had died before reaching adulthood.
Goya made his name by flattering the Spanish aristocracy, and became the foremost court painter in Spain. However, there were two Goyas. In 1793, at the age of 47, he suffered a near-fatal illness and lost his hearing. His art changed dramatically. He began to create a series of works that would culminate in the astonishing Black Paintings (1819-23), which were unlike anything that had come before. They were visions of hell, painted straight on to the walls of his Deaf Man’s Villa on the outskirts of Madrid.
Francisco Goya produced nothing more abrasively modern than the series of 14 images known as the Black Paintings. Even today, these nightmarish visions can unmoor you. An ancient crone grins ghoulishly over a bowl of food; a demonic figure whispers in the ear of a stooped old man; a midnight coven surrounds a goat-headed sorcerer; a dog raises its head forlornly; and, most famous of all, a raggedy-bearded man with bulging eyes devours a human form that is already reduced to red meat.
I like The Naked Maja, but there is something that attracts attention to me: her head. It seems to be another woman’s head, doesn’t it?
A secret. When I was a teenager all my companions were boys at school. Franco was alive. We had Goya’s picture «The Naked Maja» on page 69. I remember perfectly, 69.When the History teacher was giving lesson sitting on his armchair, all of us opened the book at page 69 and we closed it quickly when he got up. One day, the teacher realized of it and he punished all my classmates and me. He forbade us to look at the picture again in the classroom.
The supposed Duchess of Alba was the first naked woman I had never seen. I was 12 or 13.
We will probably never be one hundred per cent sure as to who modelled for the two paintings. The two candidates are the Duchess of Alba and Pepita Tudó.
I have seen Vicente López’s painting. Pepita Tudó was very prety.
She was the mistress of Manuel de Godoy.
It seems that Godoy had a lot of lovers according to the Queen. 😀
Very suggestive that it was page 69…
69 lovers? I had not thought of that.
The teacher probably did like to punish. Why else present books with art like that to boys. Teachers can be perverse, like a female teacher leaning into the corner of a table. It’s hear-say, but still..
Back in the day when the socialists still had to much to say in Holland and the opposite gender was put together in the same classroom casually, it was usually the teacher who was the big mouth bad influence, making suggestive comments to girls who were proud to show the higgies in school. I just listened of course to these scenes, being called a bookworm and happy not to act cool. To hot to be cool… 😀
A pretty girl is like a minstrel show
It makes you laugh
It makes you cry
It just isn’t the same on radio
It’s all about the makeup and the dancing and the Oh
A pretty girl is like a violent crime
If you do it wrong you could do time
But if you do it right it is sublime
I’m so in love with you, girl,
It’s like I’m on the moon
I can’t really breathe, but I feel lighter
A melody is like a pretty girl
Who cares if it’s the dumbest in the world
It’s all about the way that it unfurls
A pretty girl is like
A pretty girl
I never met a woman
That makes me feel like you do
There’s something ‘bout you, baby
That makes me wanna be with you
I never thought
I’d ever feel this way
Your love is warm
It takes me to another place, ooh, yeah
You bring me light
You take away my pain
I’ll hold you tight
And baby, we can fly away
‘Cause you’re an angel, a blessing
You’re sent from above
I want ya, I need ya
I’ve prayed for your love
I wish Esther was here…. 😩😔
Beautiful romantic song
Very pleased to know that you enjoyed this song, dear traveler. Best wishes.
Same to you, best wishes. So long.
No…. 69 lovers. Only a naked woman on page 69 at school. Goya’s Naked Maja. How do yo say «Maja» in English? Beautiful, pretty? I think there is no translation.
69 lovers and counting…, beginning to end so to speak 😏
Maja, pretty, beautiful but also pretty nice as in nice? How about she is a buena moza?
Esa tía tiene morbo. 😇 My Spanish is making progress, or what.,
Tu español mejora a pasos agigantados. Congratulations!
The language of love. Catalan and Basque maybe too. Forget French and Italian, not by far.
Of course! Have you ever planned a romantic holiday to Valencia, or learnt how to say «t’estime»? There’s no denying that Catalan really is the language of love.
Always dreamed of going there! Esther didn’t want to go when I invited her to go. Núvia! She never answered something was on her mind. I wish she was my Nuvi and walk together through Spain and the lovely Catalonia. Andorra I wish to see next or maybe first. Spanish the language of respect, Catalan the language of love😊 Dutch is the language of the naughty 😀
Dutch is really underrated! It’s a fascinating language.
Like German, but more romantic .
Sorry feseto if my comments went double, something happen to my screen.