Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Artworks I'd Steal: Duchess of Alba
The Duchess of Alba may or may not have been the model for Goya's famous Majas. Fact is that Goya has painted and sketched her many times and I like this version best of all. I think it conveys the charisma this unusual woman is said to have possessed.
She had been raised by her grandfather after her father died and he didn't try to shape her into the decorous creature women were supposed to be. Even after her marriage to the Duke of Alba didn't do much to change her free lifestyle, it only added considerable wealth.
There's a good chance that the Duchess and Goya had a relationship, at the very least they were close friends. In the painting, she points to the phrase "solo Goya" (Goya alone) written in the sand and her rings bear both her and his name. The rings were not that unusual and Goya did that in other paintings of other women, but the writing in the sand was painted over by him soon after he finished the painting. Whatever the truth, they are both fascinating people.
Oh, and I'll never complain about coming up with Castillian names in 7th Sea again. Take a look at the Duchess's full name on Wikipedia...