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“Makha dressed” and “Makha naked”: How passions flared up around the scandalous paintings of Francisco Goya

Surprisingly, the paintings of the famous Spanish artist, painted at the turn of the enlightened XVIII and golden XIX centuries, became the causes of scandals up to the emancipated XX. Despite the fact that the nude style in art is a tradition and, it seems, should not shock anyone, it was these works that became “markers” that showed that society was ready to see naked goddesses in paintings, but had a completely different attitude to depicting real beauty. earthly woman.

Machs in Spain were called dandy commoners. They are usually considered “townspeople”, but in the XVIII century they were residents of the Madrid slums. They personified the ideal of female attractiveness in the Spanish sense, combining romanticism, self-esteem and vivid temperament. Therefore, on the famous canvases, Goya reflected not just an abstract standard of female beauty, but a very specific national character.

The portrait was originally conceived as anonymous and still keeps its secret. The fact is that at the time of its creation, the mores of Spain did not allow artists to depict a naked female body without mythological connotation or negative coloring (for example, a repentant sinner). The Inquisition, which existed in this country almost until the middle of the XIX century, had a huge impact on art, carrying out strict censorship. Drawing a naked swing, Goya deliberately violated the law, therefore, it is believed that her dressed double was created.

Accurate information about how these scandalous paintings were created was not preserved. Most likely, the customer of the bold picture was Manuel Godoy, the first Minister of Spain and the favorite of the royal couple. It was so dangerous to keep nude paintings at home in those days, that the naked swing was hidden from prying eyes by the swing of a cloak. With the help of a cunning mechanism, the upper canvas was pushed back, revealing to the eyes an erotic scene, incredible for that time.

And yet, despite all the precautions, in 1808 the picture was discovered by the Inquisition. The canvas, along with other objects of art of “dubious content” was confiscated, and the highest dignitary of the kingdom appeared in court. There, Manuel Godoy did not begin to unlock and quickly discovered the name of an accomplice in this terrible crime – that is, the author of the canvas. Francisco Goya was also accused of immorality. His works were called “extremely indecent and threatening the public interest.” Fortunately, the artist managed to avoid more serious consequences, but only because the Spanish Inquisition at the beginning of the 19th century was no longer the same as before.

It would seem that in the 20th century, when many disputes about art and the works of Francisco Goya subsided, were considered as undoubted masterpieces of world art culture, no more troubles should occur with paintings. However, the nakedness of the beautiful mach continued to embarrass the public. In 1930, on the 100th anniversary of the death of the artist, a series of three postage stamps was issued. The image of the naked swoop again caused a scandal, not only in conservative Spain, but also in other countries. Zealots of morality spoke about the possible corruption of children who are fond of philately and especially emphasized the fact that indecent images must be licked before gluing to the envelope!

Interestingly, by the end of 1930, the US Postal Department banned all mail with Makhami. Such letters should have been seized and sent back to the addressee. This postal struggle lasted several decades – already in 1952 there was a case in Belgium, when the police arrested the brand “Naked Swing”, insulting the public in the window of a local store.

Immediately after World War II, another time bomb exploded in connection with this picture. Now the matter concerned the personality of the woman who served as her model. For many years it was believed that Goya wrote his masterpiece from the famous Spanish aristocrat. Maria Cayetana de Silva, the 13th Duchess of Alba, was indeed the patroness and, most likely, the artist’s mistress, as well as a model for many of his paintings. However, there was no reliable evidence of her posing specifically for Makhi.

It turned out that the aristocratic descendants of Alb were very dissatisfied with rumors that the beauty of their brave great-great-grandmother inspired the artist and is now on display. In 1945, they decided to prove the innocence of their proud family in an indecent masterpiece and for this even went on the exhumation of the remains of the duchess. It was planned to measure the bones and compare them with the proportions of the body in the picture.

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