Josefa de Tudó, 1st Countess of Castillo Fiel  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Josefa de Tudó, 1st Countess of Castillo Fiel, (in full, Template:Lang-es), also known as Pepita Tudó (19 May 1779 - 20 September 1869) was the mistress of Spanish Primer Minister Manuel de Godoy, and likely the model for Goya's La maja desnuda (The Naked Maja).

Tudó was born in Cádiz and she was always called "Pepita", a diminutive of Josefa. Her father was a gunner named Antonio de Tudó y Alemany who died when she was young. Since the age of sixteen, Pepita and her mother, Catalina Cathalán y Luecia, and her sisters, Magdalena and Socorro, lived in the house of Manuel de Godoy, one of the most powerful men in Spain. Pepita was his lover by 1800.

However, the Queen of Spain, María Luisa, forced Godoy to marry María Teresa de Borbón y Vallabriga, Countess of Chinchón, a marriage which was favorable to Godoy for social reasons. The marriage didn't end Godoy's relationship with Pepita; in 1805, she gave birth to a son, Manuel, and in 1807, she gave birth to another son, Luis.

In 1807, under Godoy's influence, Carlos IV presented Pepita with the title of Countess of Castillo Fiel and Viscountess of Rocafuerte. When María Teresa died in 1828, Godoy and Pepita could finally marry, even though they had secretly performed a marriage ceremony years earlier. They moved to Paris in 1832 where they lived in somewhat straitened circumstances.

Later, Pepita returned to Spain in hopes of reclaiming the family properties. At ninety years old, Pepita told a reporter that Godoy knew only one true love: Queen María Luisa. She died in 1869 in Madrid.

In popular culture

The writer Ceferino Palencia wrote a novel called Pepita Tudó, obviously inspired by Pepita herself. Perhaps the most interesting thing about Pepita is that she is considered by many historians to be the model for Francisco de Goya's two most notorious works, La maja vestida and La maja desnuda. Pepita Tudó was portrayed by Penélope Cruz in Volavérunt.





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Josefa de Tudó, 1st Countess of Castillo Fiel" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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