Among the different female portraits of Francisco de Goya there is something for all tastes, from the enigmatic Majas to more official ones such as that of the Countess of Chinchón or some that are much less pompous but full of profound intimacy, such as that of Señora Sabasa and García.
Goya's Marchioness of Lazán
Well, perhaps between one and the other we should place this wonderful portrait of the Marchioness of Lazán, who was the sister-in-law of General Palafoxto whom he also dedicated one of his most outstanding equestrian portraits.
The portrait of the woman would be earlier, between 1800 and 1804, and the great charm of the work is that it seems that the woman has suddenly appeared in that room and the painter has captured that moment. Her emerging from the shadows and lighting up the entire room and the fabric with her shining face and the white silk dress she wears
That dress certainly deserves a separate comment, as it is of sublime pictorial quality. We can imagine the texture of the silk, which is the support for some delicate gold embroidery along the entire waist, which become garlands in its lower part, where by the way the light descends and veils the fabric., which in fact is completely dark in the back, although we can imagine it because of the outline that the artist makes in the flight of the skirt.
Regarding theface is one of the faces that fascinate Goya. Brunette beauties who have a proud look and is also somewhat provocative. For the conventions of the time, it is a painting with a strong erotic charge. She is in a posture between indolent and graceful, dressed in French fashion that makes the waist of her dress so high that it makes the volume of her chest stand out enormously. It is also a dress with a marked neckline and short sleeves, leaving the fleshy arms visible.
Even the position of her legs crossed and letting her little white shoe peek out from under her skirt is a trait of coquetry typical of that historical moment.
The marquise is like a shimmering white column in the center of the canvas, completely surrounded by a neutral greenish background of the walls and a piece of orange floor that receives light from a window on the left. That same light allows us to see the armchair on which the woman leans, with her hand hanging in a somewhat strange gesture, as if she were going to take the ermine shawl that is on the seat, and thus cover herself a little to pose. Although Goya's art is such that she has almost photographically captured that moment and that natural gesture of the girl.