Majas on a Balcony

Attributed to Goya (Francisco de Goya y Lucientes) Spanish

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 641

The women known as majas visually distinguished themselves through opulent, exaggerated traditional dress that became synonymous with Spanish popular culture. Goya’s innovative composition of majas on a balcony seen from the street—accompanied by somewhat threatening male companions—was one of his most well-known paintings and is today in a private collection. This version may be a variant that Goya used to explore different expressive and stylistic emphases, or it may have been painted by a close follower. Goya’s complex compositional device, in which balcony and picture plane overlap on the brink of public and private spaces, would inspire French painter Edouard Manet in his depictions of urban life in Paris during the late 1860s.

Majas on a Balcony, Attributed to Goya (Francisco de Goya y Lucientes) (Spanish, Fuendetodos 1746–1828 Bordeaux), Oil on canvas

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