Sunday, January 02, 2005

Goya Painting of a Noble Lady with a Goiter at the Getty

My son Antonio needed to visit a museum for his art class.
I packed up the whole family, on a very rainy day and visited the new Getty in West L. A. After his school assignment was completed, we visited the painting gallery.
I was not expecting to see any thyroid related art today.
However, I was wrong. There was a lifesize painting of a noble woman with an extra-ordinary enlarged neck. When I looked closer,the neck was the home of a large goiter.
Francisco Jose' Goya Y Lucientes, Spanish painter, who lived from 1746-1828, had painted the Marquesa de Santiago in 1804. She was goitrous, probably due to iodine deficiency, which was common in Spain. Why did he paint her? Besides the money, it was considered a sign of beauty to have a large curvy neck. The goiter was usually seen in women, and was just another "curve" on a women's body that was different from a man's body. It was not known that the goiter was a disease of iodine deficiency, for many years after Goya painted the Marquesa. Well, the museum trip was completed with an excellent meal at the Getty Restaurant. I can't get away even for one day from the thyroid gland.

Happy New Year,


Vist the Marquesa at

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