Josefa de Tudó, 1st Countess of Castillo Fiel

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Josefa de Tudó
Pepita Tudó.jpg
Pepita Tudó by Vicente López
Born (1779-05-19)19 May 1779
Cádiz, Spain
Died 20 September 1869(1869-09-20) (aged 90)
Madrid, Spain
Occupation Countess of Castillo Fiel
Spouse(s) Manuel Godoy
Parent(s) Antonio de Tudó y Alemany and Catalina Cathalán y Luecia

Josefa de Tudó, 1st Countess of Castillo Fiel, (in full, Spanish: Doña Josefa Petra Francisca de Paula de Tudó y Catalán, Alemany y Luesia, primera condesa de Castillo Fiel, primera viscondesa de Rocafuerte), also known as Pepita Tudó (19 May 1779 - 20 September 1869) was the mistress of Spanish Prime 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[edit]

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 two of Francisco de Goya's most notorious works, La maja vestida and La maja desnuda. Pepita Tudó was portrayed by Penélope Cruz in Volavérunt.

Gallery[edit]

Spanish nobility
New title Countess
of Castillo Fiel

1807-1869
Succeeded by
Manuel de
Godoy di Bassano
Viscountess
of Rocafuerte

1807-1869
Succeeded by
Josefa de
Godoy di Bassano