Among the paintings of Goya, the diptych “Maha dressed” and “Mach naked” is fanned by the greatest mystery. Legend has it that the pictures depict the same woman, the mistress of the artist, the Duchess of Alba.
However, all her descendants object to this version. They were even asked to open the family crypt in order to measure the proportions of the late Duchess and prove that they do not coincide with the proportions of the model. The crypt, however, was already opened by Napoleon’s soldiers, who treated the remains not very respectfully, and many of the bones were broken, so the tradition still lives among the people and was not refuted.
“Mach naked” repeats in many “dressed dressed”. The same sofa, the same soft pillows, the same pose – the arms are folded over the head, the legs are relaxed stretched – only the writing style is different. “Maha dressed” is written more strictly, the colors of the picture are clearer and sharper. The model looks fun, her waist is crossed with a pink belt, white pants are perfect for golden shoes. “Naked Maha” is also written softer.
The colors become more subdued, the transitions are smoother, there is no obsessive brightness of the clothes – the body on the white sheets seems light, with a slight tint of bronze. Quietly demonstrating herself, a woman looks into the camera as well, only now you can see in her look some kind of slyness. She looks tender, alluring and the whole atmosphere of the picture is filled with sensuality and love. It is impossible to write out such an unfamiliar model – the brush seems to repeat the movement of the hand, moving along the smooth curves of the body, gliding easily and freely.
One of those who kept the pictures before placing them in the museum, “Maha dressed” closed “Naked Mach” so that when you press a special lever, they switch places.
One can imagine how such a sudden change of atmosphere acted on the viewer.