Dear Gunther,

The gnuplot.lisp file that I have (maxima 5.38.1-8) does not contain the lines 
above but instead at lines 3393-3396:

                (when (and (not *multiplot-is-active*)
                           (not (member (get-option '$terminal) '($epslatex 
                  (format cmdstorage "set obj 1 rectangle behind from screen 
~a,~a to screen ~a,~a~%" 
                                     origin1 origin2 (+ origin1 size1 ) (+ 
origin2 size2)))  ))

As far as I understand it, $epslatex and $epslatex_standalone have been 
singled out for gnuplot processing (for some reason). Either
- the two lines should be activated
     "set obj 1 rectangle etc."
     "set obj 1 fc rgb etc."
- or the two of them are removed from ~/maxoutXXXX.gnuplot (in that case, no 
background ), whereas on debian stretch only the second line is present.
Both cases can generate .tex file.  (I only have gnuplot 5 too). The bug comes 
from the first line missing.

Best regards,

# locate gnuplot.lisp
#apt-cache show maxima-share gnuplot
Package: maxima-share
Source: maxima
Version: 5.38.1-8
Package: gnuplot
Version: 5.0.5+dfsg1-6+deb9u1

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