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posted on 04.03.09

La Maja by francisco de Goya celebrates the sexiest skin, the most resilient flesh, the most exquisite suggestion of a line of hair running from the navel down. But the incoherent articulation - the inexplicable incompetence of the drawing of the arms, the impossible position of the breasts, the unconvincing conjunction of the head with the neck - is a virtual denial of the Renaissance tradition's feeling for the body as a functioning whole, not an assemblage of delicious parts. Goya sees his nude as he sees the women in his portraits - as a doll.

“From a fashion perspective this painting is very interesting- the Maja depicted is in a muslin chemise gown, and is wearing no undergarments. The shape of her torso, and the way her breasts are positioned suggests a corseted body. Goya is painting her in a state of semi-nudity, but the erotic power of the corset is still present, if invisible. It is as if he is painting an ideal (and artificial) body, not the actual figure that is sitting in front of him. Goya is a great source for fashion- he always pays careful attention to garments, and the bodies underneath them!”
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