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Statue of the Duchess of Alba

  Reading the name of the Duchess of Alba in the title, people can’t help but think of Goya, the most outstanding Spanish painter in the 18th century, and his two most famous paintings “Maja in Clothes” and “Maja in Nude” (both in 1797-1800), as well as the gossip that circulated around these two paintings, the love affair between the painter and his wife, etc. It has been said that without Goya, the Duchess of Alba would at best be the subject of very few historians, and that the masses and art lovers would never be of much interest in her; without the Duchess, the world would In the history of art, there will be a lack of two unique masterpieces, as well as the touching biographical novel “Goya” (Red Light Translation People’s Literature Publishing House, 1959 edition) by the famous German writer Vuchtwanger (1884-1958). ), and there will be fewer tangled romances and bizarre legends that are difficult to distinguish between true and false. Historian Randall called his wife “a stunner whose every inch of her body evokes imagination.” Some people called her “Venus of Spain”, and some people called her “frivolous in words and deeds” and not abiding by women’s ethics. Exactly how, depends on how the lady writes her own history and what she has done in her life.
  A lady born in 1762 with a string of strangely long names – Maria delle Pira Teresa Caietna de Selva Alvarez. Although he was born in a family of high officials and dignitaries, he had no worries about food and clothing, but unfortunately lost his father at the age of 8 and had to be raised by his grandfather who was an important court official. ) as a team. She has a lively and cheerful disposition, and is obsessed with dancing and art. She often participates in folk gatherings and celebrations with Maha, but she is also at ease.
  In order to inherit the incense as soon as possible, when she was 13 years old, her grandfather recruited her husband and married her to the Marquis of Villafranca, who was sick and quiet and weak in temperament. Two young people with diametrically opposite personalities suddenly make do with each other. Naturally, they have no common language, and it is impossible to talk about their love life. In addition, the wife was unable to fulfill her grandfather’s wish – she had not had a man and half a woman for a long time, so she had to pass the time in the pursuit of pleasure, resulting in a more indulgent life. When her grandfather died in 1777, the 15-year-old wife inherited a large estate and a noble title, and her family status increased with it, and she acted more recklessly. The first is the beauty and public contest with Queen Maria Luisa. Some people suspect that this may be an important cause of her sudden death in her thirties and the cause of death is unknown.
  The self-proclaimed wife of Imaha is naturally a lover of bullfighting and a powerful art protector. As the chief painter of the court, Goya happened to be excellent in both aspects. He fought bulls and was jailed at 24 for trying to abduct a nun while studying in Italy, but was freed on bail thanks to the Spanish ambassador’s dealings. He has received a lot of support in his interactions with his wife, and he has also begun to have inexplicable emotional entanglements. When the Duke died in 1796, the 34-year-old wife was widowed and returned to her hometown of San Luca in Andalusia for mourning. Goya went to offer condolences in time and stayed for several months. It is said that the two Maha statues were completed in a spare bedroom during this period. As for whether the model in the painting is a lady, there is still debate. Some say it is the servant of the Madrid priest Fry Barvey, and some say it is the favorite of a powerful man. In a word, it was originally a figure of a clothed figure, and the nude portrait was a masterpiece that the artist completed after thinking about the beauty of the model, which was unforgettable by his imagination. In the dark ages of the Inquisition, those who portrayed female nudity were found to be burned at the stake. Fuchtwanger may have added his own fiction in his biographical novel “Goya”, saying that there were nanny outside while painting nudes for his wife. There is also a mechanism on the frame. When someone touches the button, “Maha in Clothes” will automatically land, covering the “Maha in the Naked”, which is absolutely safe. However, these arguments are not important, I will listen to them. What we want to appreciate is the revolutionary spirit of the painter who dared to challenge religious conservatives, the accurate basic modeling of the same image in one go, the hearty brushstrokes and the skilled oil painting skills, which are intriguing.
  Goya was an outstanding portrait painter. In his portraits, the social identities and character traits of the characters are always vividly displayed. In the 1790s he painted a portrait of Ferdinand Guilmard, the French ambassador to Spain. The ambassador in the painting is dressed in the costume of the French Revolution. He turns his head casually, as if he wants to speak to someone around him, fully showing the approachable, optimistic and witty character of a revolutionary. It is said that the ambassador before the painting made a basic request, saying: “Please don’t just paint me, but also depict the characteristics of our republic.” In the painting “The Duchess of Alba” that we will introduce, the painter also Did the same.
  From the above we can see that the lady is a beautiful, rich, noble and passionate person, but she lacks reason, indulgence and conceit, Maha-style conceit.
  Vuchtwanger wrote in his book “Goya”: “In the last years of the eighteenth century, the country [Spain] was the most colourful place in Europe in the Middle Ages . . . The extreme conceit of scolding—the conceit of the nation as a whole, and the conceit of one’s own clan, personally.” For the lady, there may also be a Maha-style conceit.
  Claiming to be a leading figure in the “Maha Movement”, Madame undoubtedly had to abandon the fashionable dress habits among the nobility at the time, taking off her French-style clothing, putting on a long black Maha-style dress, and a lace turban. She looked serious, with one hand on her crotch and one finger at something on the ground, as if she was questioning the person in front of her. There is absolutely no noble and elegant temperament of aristocratic women. In fact, this is the image of a living lady in life. The black mole under the tip of the eyebrow on the right eye signifies the character’s enthusiasm. Dressing mainly in black is not only Maha’s preference, but also expresses the mourning for her husband during the mourning period. The red belt makes the lady’s slender waist stand out. We have seen this in “Maha in Clothes”. The yellow on the chest is to accentuate the chest. In the background is the scenic river beach of Villa San Luca in Andalusia.
  It is worth noting that the lady pointed to the right hand on the ground, and looking along the finger, the word “Goya 1997” (Goya 1997) was written on the beach which was not very clear. “1997” was discovered a few years ago while cleaning the painting. Because the words are upside-down, it cannot be the artist’s signature, or have hidden meanings.
  What is more noteworthy is the ring on the lady’s middle finger. In addition to the “Alba” (Alba) cast on the front, it is also engraved with Goya’s name – “Goya”. This has to be said to be a testimony to the extraordinary relationship between the two of them. In Goya’s posthumous work, there is also a sketch of his wife taking a nap in the bedroom, which is impossible for ordinary people to do.

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