Maja has been painted by the Spanish painter Francisco de Goya some time between 1797 and 1800. Nobody today know who Maja was or why Goya painted her, but some people believe that she was the mistress of Prime Minister Manuel de Godoy, Duke of Alcudia and others believe she was María del Pilar Teresa Cayetana de Silva y Álvarez de Toledo, 13th Duchess of Alba, with whom Goya is rumored to have been romantically involved with.
What do you think? I must admit I like the story of a Duchess of Alba having a romantically relationship with a painter and that he were so much in love with her that he wanted to paint her!
Whatever the reason was, Goya painted one painting of Maja naked (La maja desnuda) and another one of her in the same position, but with clothes on (La maja vestida) — and I love them.