Monday, September 5, 2011

They’ll Forget to Bury Her

You could pick out a lot that’s weird about Goya’s painting of the Charles IV, King of Spain, and his brood.

For example, you could choose to focus on how Goya inserting himself, ghostly and leering in the background. I, however, feel more weirded out by the woman turned away — you know, as if the painting were made in the same way a photo is snapped and she just happened to have turned away stupidly.

So what’s her deal? She’s Charles IV’s oldest daughter, Carlota of Spain, who eventually became queen consort of Portugal. In all honestly, it’s perhaps kinder of Goya to have painted her turned away, because this is what she looked like:

And given the fact that this an official portrait, you can assume that the artist employed the painting equivalent of a Photoshop “look less like shit” filter. From her Wikipedia page, a little more insight into poor, dumpy Carlota:
In 1788, when his eldest brother Joseph, Prince of Brazil, died, John became the first in line to his mother's throne. Soon he received the titles Prince of Brazil and 17th Duke of Braganza. Between 1788 and 1816, Charlotte was known as Princess of Brazil. John, her husband, was good-natured, indolent, corpulent and almost as ugly as was she. His religious observances bored her and they were quite incompatible. Nevertheless they produced nine children and, because they were all handsome, it was rumoured that especially the younger ones had a different father. After the birth of the ninth child they began to live separate lives, he at Mafra and she at Queluz. Here it was rumoured that she had bought a retreat where she indulged in sexual orgies. 
And if that isn’t a Wikipedia passage that’s clearly skewed by bias, then Queen Carlota’s totally wasn’t the product of generations of inbreeding.

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