Shimmering silk, buttons, and buckles in this sensitive portrait exhibit Goya’s signature paint handling, applied lightly and in semi-transparent layers. Posed perpendicular to the picture plane, the man contemplates a print, only a small corner of which is visible; the paper’s reverse reads “Don Sebastián Martínez by his friend Goya 1792.” During a period of illness that led to deafness, Goya spent several months in Martínez’s home in Cádiz, a bustling, international harbor town. Martínez was a famous collector of books, prints, and paintings; he held the position of chief treasurer of the Finance Committee of Cádiz.
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Fig. 1. Painting in frame: overall
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Fig. 2. Painting in frame: corner
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Fig. 3. Painting in frame: angled corner
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Fig. 4. Profile drawing of frame (T. Newbery)
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Title:Sebastián Martínez y Pérez (1747–1800)
Artist:Goya (Francisco de Goya y Lucientes) (Spanish, Fuendetodos 1746–1828 Bordeaux)
Medium:Oil on canvas
Dimensions:36 5/8 x 26 5/8 in. (93 x 67.6 cm)
Credit Line:Rogers Fund, 1906
The sitter in this portrait holds a sheet of paper, inscribed: "Dn Sebastian / Martinez / Por su Amigo / Goya / 1792" (Don Sebastían Martínez by his friend Goya 1792). This precious information is written on a sheet, a corner of which is upturned, showing that it is a drawing, or more likely a print. Sebastían was the son of the merchant Diego Felipe Martínez, and was born on November 25, 1747 in Treguajantes (Logroño). He moved to the harbor city of Cádiz from about 1760 and there established a successful wine business, the Compañía de Viños de Jerez, exporting sherries, and was involved with the trade of silk and fabrics. Cádiz was an important harbor city with mercantile links with England, France and South America. Martínez was Chief Treasurer of the Financial Council of the city and a member of the Royal Council of the Public Treasury. In 1774 he married María Felipa Errecarte y Odobraque, and the couple had three daughters, Catalina, Josefa and Micaela. Martínez was also a celebrated bibliophile and collector of paintings and prints (for his collection see Pemán 1978). Antonio Ponz described the collection, in Martínez’s house at the Calle San Carlos 69 (now Calle de Sacramento) in Cádiz, in his 1785 Viage de España. Martínez owned more than seven hundred paintings, including works attributed to Titian, Leonardo, Giulio Romano, Murillo, Velázquez, Rubens, Giordano, Batoni, and Mengs; he also owned several thousand prints, among which were examples by Piranesi and Hogarth. He died on November 24, 1800, probably in Madrid.
Goya visited Cádiz in connection to three large canvases with scenes from the life of Christ which he painted for the Oratory of La Santa Cueva. In a letter to Pedro Arascot of March 19, 1793, Martínez wrote that Goya was planning to be in Cádiz for two months but fell ill in Seville, and therefore returned to Cádiz and stayed with him (Trapier 1964). It is unclear when and where Goya’s portrait of Martínez was painted in 1792. It may have been painted in Cádiz in the fall of 1792, before Goya travelled to Seville, where he portrayed his (and Martínez’s) friend Juan Augustín Ceán Bermúdez (Marquis de Perinat collection, Madrid) and his wife (Szépmüvészeti Múzeum, Budapest). However, according to the diary of the medalist Pedro González de Sepúlveda, Martínez was also in Madrid between June 7 and July 27 of that year, so Goya could have portrayed him at that time in the capital (Glendenning 1982). By the end of 1792, Goya fell ill and became deaf; he convalesced in Martínez’s house in Cádiz from at least January 1793.
The portrait, together with other paintings by Goya, belonged to Martínez until his death in 1800, and was described as having been in his house by Nicolas de la Cruz y Bahamonde in 1813. It is recorded in post-mortem inventory of Martínez’s collection, of 1803–5, where it is recorded as "Uno id. Que repress.ta un Retrato de D.n Seb.n Martinez p.r Goya tasado en setecientos y cincuenta [reales vellón]" (One [painting] depicting the portrait of Don Sebastián Martínez by Goya, valued at 750 reales) (Baticle 1978). It was in the collection of Sebastían’s daughter Catalina and her husband Francisco Viola, and subsequently in the collection of his other daughter Josefa and her husband Fernando Casado de Torres until his death in 1829. The portrait appeared again in the early twentieth century with the dealers Salcedo Nijo Co. in Madrid and with Knoedler in New York in 1905–6.
It was acquired for The Met by Roger Fry, then curator at the Museum. He wrote to Sir Purdon Clarke on January 7, 1906, that he had seen "a very remarkable Goya" at Knoedler’s and that "this is a particularly fine sober and accomplished example" of his work. In March 1906 he reported to G.L. Dickinson that he had acquired the portrait and other paintings for a "ridiculously low" price. When exhibited at The Met, the poet Ezra Pound commented, in 1910, that this was "the best" Goya he knew (Stock 1970).
Xavier F. Salomon 2012
Inscription: Signed, dated, and inscribed (on letter): Dn Sebastian / Martinez / Por su Amigo / Goya / 1792 (Don Sebastián Martínez by his friend Goya 1792)
Sebastián Martínez y Pérez, Cádiz (until d. 1800; inv., 1803–5); his daughter, Catalina, who married Francisco Viola (from 1805); Fernando Casado de Torres [Martínez's other son-in-law, husband of his daughter Josefa] (until d. 1829; inv., probably shortly before 1829, no. 120, as a portrait of Sebastián Martínez by Goya "alto cinco cuartas ancho tres," valued at 1,500 reales); [Salcedo Nijo Co., Madrid, until 1905; sold for Fr 28,236.75 to Knoedler]; [Knoedler, New York, 1905–6; sold to The Met]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Francisco Goya: His Paintings, Drawings and Prints," January 27–March 8, 1936, no. 6.
New York. Wildenstein. "A Loan Exhibition of Goya," November 9–December 16, 1950, no. 7.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Goya: Drawings and Prints," May 4–30, 1955, no. 168 (as "Don Sebastian Martinez, Solicitor and Art Connoisseur in Cadiz.").
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Winter Exhibition: Goya and His Times," December 7, 1963–March 1, 1964, no. 70.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Masterpieces of Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 16–November 1, 1970, unnumbered cat. (p. 58).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries," November 14, 1970–June 1, 1971, no. 328.
Richmond. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. "Francisco Goya: Portraits in Paintings, Prints and Drawings," May 8–June 11, 1972, no. 7.
Leningrad [St. Petersburg]. State Hermitage Museum. "100 Paintings from the Metropolitan Museum," May 22–July 27, 1975, no. 35.
Moscow. State Pushkin Museum. "100 Paintings from the Metropolitan Museum," August 28–November 2, 1975, no. 35.
Madrid. Museo Nacional del Prado. "Goya y el espiritu de la ilustración," October 6–December 18, 1988, no. 19.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Goya and the Spirit of Enlightenment," January 18–March 26, 1989, no. 19.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Goya and the Spirit of Enlightenment," May 9–July 16, 1989, no. 19.
Stockholm. Nationalmuseum. "Goya," October 7, 1994–January 8, 1995, no. 16.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Goya in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 12–December 31, 1995, unnumbered cat.
Madrid. Museo Nacional del Prado. "El retrato español: Del Greco a Picasso," October 20, 2004–February 6, 2005, no. 60.
Seville. Hospital de los Venerables. "El rescate de la antigüedad clásica en Andalucía," November 24, 2008–February 28, 2009, no. 46.
Patrimonio La Isla., unpaginated, ill. (color detail) [http://www.patrimoniolaisla.com/vueltas-las-estatuillas-halladas-las-inmediaciones-sancti-petri/].
Nicolas de la Cruz y Bahamonde. Viage de España, Francia, é Italia. Vol. 13, Cádiz, 1813, pp. 340, 342, mentions seeing Goya's "very good" portrait of Martínez in the latter's collection in Cádiz; notes that after Martínez's death, the collection was divided between Casado de Torres and Francisco Viola, who sold it to the English.
Juan Rivera. Catálogo y tasación de la famosa colección de cuadros de D. Francisco [sic for Fernando] Casado de Torres. shortly before 1829, no. 120 [Biblioteca Nacional de Madrid, Manuscript no. 18.630/ 40; see Ref. Navarrete Prieto and Pérez Sanchez 2008, p. 21].
Roger Fry. Letters. January–March 1906 [published in Ref. Sutton 1972, vol. 1, letter no. 167, pp. 246–47, letter no. 173, pp. 251, letter no. 177, p. 255, letter no. 183, p. 259], mentions a "very fine example of his [Goya's] later middle period..." at Knoedler and declares his desire to purchase it; lists this picture among works being hung in the "Temporary Exhibition in Gallery 24" and among those recently purchased for "ridiculously low prices".
"Principal Accessions." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 1 (April 1906), p. 73, ill. opp. p. 72.
R[oger]. E. Fry. "Some Recent Acquisitions of the Metropolitan Museum, New York." Burlington Magazine 9 (May 1906), p. 141, pl. 2, describes it as a good example of Goya's change in style from his "loose to his light manner".
Richard Oertel. Francisco de Goya. Bielefeld, 1907, p. 78, calls it one of the few dated paintings from the year of Goya's illness
Elisabeth Luther Cary. "The Scrip: Some of the Portraits in the Metropolitan Museum." International Studio 37 (April 1909), pp. LXI–LXII, ill.
A. de Beruete y Moret. Goya: Pintor de retratos. Madrid, 1916, pp. 42–43, 173, no. 99, pl. 10 [English ed., 1922, pp. 53, 207, no. 106, pl. 10], lists it erroneously as in the Galerie Trotti, Paris, where he had recently seen it.
Kenyon Cox. "Workmanship." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 12 (July 1917), pp. 150, 152, ill. p. 153, comments on the refinement of technique in this painting, in particular the transparent blue overpainting that creates the illusion of shimmering light on the jacket.
August L. Mayer. Francisco de Goya. Munich, 1923, pp. 18, 66, 196, no. 339, fig. 93 [English ed., 1924, pp. 15, 52, 160, no. 339, pl. 93], mentions it as a good example of the silver gray tonality found in Goya's pictures of the mid 1790s
A. de Beruete y Moret. Conferencias de arte. Madrid, 1924, p. 278, ill. opp. p. 276, lists it erroneously as in the Trotti Gallery, Paris.
Tomás G. Larraya. Goya: Su vida, sus obras. Barcelona, 1928, p. 179.
X. Desparmet Fitz-Gerald. L'oeuvre peint de Goya: Catalogue raisonné. Paris, 1928–50, vol. 1, p. 23 n. 1; vol. 2, p. 68, no. 350, pl. 275, states that Goya painted it after leaving Madrid for San Lúcar de Barrameda in February or March 1792, and before his return to Madrid in March 1793.
"The H. O. Havemeyer Collection." Parnassus 2 (March 1930), p. 4.
"Old Masters in New York Galleries." Parnassus 2 (January 1930), p. 3.
F.J. Sanchez Cantón. Goya. Paris, 1930, p. 42, pl. 22, speculates that Goya painted this picture in 1792 before becoming ill, sometime after the autumn of that year.
Charles Terrasse. Goya y Lucientes, 1746–1828. Paris, 1931, p. 42.
Mildred Akin. "The Style of Goya and Its Relation to Modern Art." Vassar Journal of Undergraduate Studies 6 (May 1932), p. 95, pl. 2, fig. 2.
Harry B. Wehle. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Italian, Spanish, and Byzantine Paintings. New York, 1940, pp. 246–47, ill., as probably painted during Goya's convalescence at Martínez's home; notes that few portraits date from this early period.
José Gudiol. Goya. New York, 1941, p. 62, sees in the "constructive element" of Martínez's coat a reflection of Goya's interest at the time in stronger linear definition.
Leonardo Estarico. Francisco de Goya: El hombre y el artista. Buenos Aires, 1942, p. 265, pl. 53.
Margaret Breuning. "Metropolitan Re-Installs Its Treasures in Attractive Settings." Art Digest 18 (June 1, 1944), p. 6.
Xavier de Salas. Goya: La familia de Carlos IV. Barcelona, 1944, p. 7.
Francisco Pompey. Goya: Su vida y sus obras. Madrid, 1945, ill. p. 172.
Herbert Weissberger. "Goya and His Handwriting." Gazette des beaux-arts 29 (February 1946), pp. 115–16, observes that the lettering on the paper held by the sitter recalls the script in plates of the "Caprichos" series.
Enrique Lafuente Ferrari. Antecedentes, coincidencias e influencias del arte de Goya: Catalogo ilustrado de la exposicion celebrada en 1932. Madrid, 1947, p. 175, notes that a replica by Agustín Esteve was on the Barcelona art market several years earlier.
Millia Davenport. The Book of Costume. New York, 1948, vol. 2, p. 734, no. 2062, ill. (cropped).
Antonina Vallentin. This I Saw: The Life and Times of Goya. New York, 1949, pp. 110–11.
José López-Rey. A Loan Exhibition of Goya: For the Benefit of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Exh. cat., Wildenstein. New York, 1950, pp. 14, 17, no. 7, ill. p. 49, states that it marks "the end of the artist's rococo period," characterized by gracefulness, smoothness, and delicacy.
F. J. Sanchez Canton. Vida y obras de Goya. Madrid, 1951, pp. 49, 169, calls it Goya's only signed and dated work of 1792
Josephine L. Allen and Elizabeth E. Gardner. A Concise Catalogue of the European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1954, p. 43.
Theodore Rousseau Jr. "A Guide to the Picture Galleries." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 12, part 2 (January 1954), p. 5.
Pierre Gassier. Goya. New York, 1955, p. 32, dates it shortly before Goya's illness and comments that it begins the artist's period of gray and silver tonalities, "the crowning technical feat of 18th-century painting".
Martin S. Soria Enrique Lafuente Ferrari inAgustin Esteve y Goya. Valencia, 1957, p. 22.
Ramón Solis. "Don Sebastian Martinez, comerciante y coleccionista de cuadros." ABC [Madrid] (May 4, 1957), p.?, ill.
Juan Antonio Gaya Nuño. La pintura española fuera de España. Madrid, 1958, pp. 77, 161, no. 920.
Gabriel Rouchès. La peinture espagnole des origines au XXe siècle. Paris, 1958, p. 405.
Ramón Solis. "Sebastián Martínez, amigo de Goya." ABC [Madrid] (April 26, 1962), n.p., ill.
Goya and His Times. Exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts. London, 1963, p. 36, no. 70, date this "token of the artist's friendship" to the end of 1792 during Goya's trip to Andalusia.
Nigel Glendinning. "Goya and His Times at Burlington House." Connoisseur 155 (January 1964), p. 21, fig. 6.
José López-Rey. "Goya at the London Royal Academy." Gazette des beaux-arts 63 (May–June 1964), p. 360, dates it just before Goya's illness.
Xavier de Salas. "Dos exposiciones de la obra de Goya en Londres." Archivo español de arte 37 (January–March 1964), p. 90.
Elizabeth du Gué Trapier. Goya and His Sitters: A Study of His Style as a Portraitist. New York, 1964, pp. 8–9, 53, figs. 15–16 (overall and detail), sees a debt to the French school here in the "delicate harmony of tone and well-defined contours"; believes the paper held by the sitter is a drawing; cites a March 19, 1793 letter from Martínez to Pedro Arascot relating that Goya became ill while in Seville and arrived at Martínez's home in Cádiz requiring medical attention; identifies this picture as the portrait of Martínez by Goya described by Cruz y Bahamonde in 1813 [see Ref. Cruz y Bahamonde 1813].
José Gudiol. Goya. New York, 1965, pp. 28, 94, ill. opp. p. 94 (color), calls it Goya's only painting certainly dating from 1792; notes that it may have been painted while Goya was in Cádiz during that year working on three canvases portraying the life of Christ for the Oratory of the Santa Cueva; comments on Goya's departure from established portrait conventions, representing the sitter from below, and close up.
Claus Virch. Francisco Goya. New York, 1967, pp. 18, 36–37, no. 6, ill., comments on the apparent influence of contemporary French portraits; declares that the sitter holds a drawing.
George Levitine. "Book Reviews: Elizabeth du Gué Trapier, Goya and His Sitters, A Study of His Style as a Portraitist." Art Bulletin 50 (June 1968), p. 210.
Noel Stock. Letter to European Paintings. September 16, 1968, writes that Ezra Pound probably saw this painting at the MMA in 1910 and "years later he spoke of 'a Goya in a blue coat'".
Gaspar Gómez de la Serna. Goya y su España. Madrid, 1969, pp. 81, 90, 280, states that Goya dated and dedicated the portrait in 1792 as a token of gratitude for his friend's care during his convalescence.
Nigel Glendinning. "Goya's Portrait of Andrés del Peral." Apollo 89 (March 1969), p. 200.
Introduction by Kenneth Clark. Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1970, p. 287, no. 328, ill.
Calvin Tomkins. Merchants and Masterpieces: The Story of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1970, p. 106 [rev., enl. ed., 1989].
Edith A. Standen inMasterpieces of Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. New York, , p. 58, ill. (color).
Noel Stock. The Life of Ezra Pound. New York, 1970, pp. 90–91, identifies it as probably the MMA picture Pound called in 1910 "one of the finest Goya's he had ever seen" and which he described as "the best" Goya he knew in the "Guide de Kulchur" (1938).
Pierre Gassier and Juliet Wilson. Vie et oeuvre de Francisco Goya. Ed. François Lachenal. Fribourg, Switzerland, 1970, pp. 105–6, 161, no. 333, ill. pp. 107 (color), 170 [English ed., 1971], date it just before Goya's illness and cite it as evidence that he was in Cádiz, still in good health, before the end of 1792; note that Goya became ill in Seville and was then taken back to Martínez's home where he remained for six months; observes that "matters are considerably complicated" by the fact that Goya left Madrid in the first half of November without official permission from the court so that when he fell ill, he pretended to be in Madrid when requesting leave to recuperate.
José Gudiol. Goya 1746–1828: Biographie, analyse critique et catalogue des peintures. Paris, 1970, vol. 1, pp. 80–81, 263–64, no. 310; vol. 3, figs. 440, 441 (overall and detail) [Spanish ed., 1969–70; English ed., 1971, vol. 1, pp. 82–83, 87, 270, no. 310; vol. 3, figs. 440, 441 (overall and detail)], dates it probably shortly before Goya's illness.
José Guerrero Lovillo. "Goya en Andalucía." Goya (January–February 1971), p. 213, ill. p. 211.
Denys Sutton, ed. Letters of Roger Fry. New York, 1972, vol. 1, pp. 25–26, 246–47, letter no. 167 (January 7, 1906), p. 251, letter no. 173 (February 18, 1906), p. 255, letter no. 177 (March 2, 1906), p. 259, letter no. 183 (? March 1906).
Gaspar Gómez de la Serna. Goya en Cádiz. Madrid, 1973, pp. 20–21, 29, 31, 40–41, ill., believes it was painted either in Madrid in the spring of 1792, or in Seville in the early autumn of 1792, observing that Goya also painted portraits of Ceán Bermúdez (Marquis de Perinat collection, Madrid) and his wife (Szépmüvészeti Múzeum, Budapest) in Seville that autumn, and Martínez could have travelled there as well to visit with his friends; comments on the similar treatment of light effects and brilliancy of fabrics in the three portraits, and notes that in them Goya has abandoned the rigidity and formalism of official portraiture, evoking the sitters' personalities through pose and gesture.
Rita de Angelis. L'opera pittorica completa di Goya. Milan, 1974, pp. 84, 88, 104–05, no. 263, ill. p. 104.
Marcus B. Burke in100 Paintings from the Metropolitan Museum [in Russian]. Exh. cat., State Hermitage Museum, Leningrad. Moscow, 1975, pp. 100–101, no. 35, ill. (color), states that it was probably painted while Goya visited Cádiz toward the end of 1792, before his illness.
Nigel Glendinning. Goya and His Critics. New Haven, 1977, p. 116, mentions Roger Fry's praise of this painting, but calls his interest in Goya's work "rather superficial" [see Ref. Fry 1906, Burlington Magazine].
Sarah Symmons. Goya. London, 1977, pp. 40–41, 46, pl. 16, observes that "few of Goya's portraits are as intimate, with the figure so close to the spectator, a position usually reserved by the artist for friends of intellectual or literary repute"; notes that he is dressed in the French fashion.
Jeannine Baticle in "Les amis 'norteños' de Goya en Andalousie. Ceán Bermúdez, Sebastián Martínez." Actas del XXIII Congreso Internacional de Historia del Arte: España entre el mediterraneo y el Atlántico, Granada 1973. Vol. 3, Granada, 1978, p. 22, suggests that Goya either painted this picture in May 1792 while Martínez was in Madrid, or in 1797 during the artist's second trip to Cádiz, observing that the dandyish costume seems better suited to the later date; states that this painting appears as no. 120 in an inventory of Fernando Casado de Torres, one of Goya's sons-in-law
María Pemán. "La colección artística de don Sebastián Martínez, el amigo de Goya, en Cádiz." Archivo español de arte 51 (January–March 1978), pp. 53, 56, notes that this painting is listed in an 1805 inventory of the Martínez collection where it was valued at only 750 reales.
Xavier de Salas. "Light on the Origin of Los Caprichos." Burlington Magazine 121 (November 1979), p. 711.
Frances Spalding. Roger Fry: Art and Life. Berkeley, 1980, p. 91.
Nigel Glendinning. "Convention and Character in Goya's Portraits." Biography in the 18th Century. Ed. J.D. Browning. New York, 1980, pp. 177, 184.
Nigel Glendinning. "Goya's Patrons." Apollo 114 (October 1981), p. 244, fig. 12, dates it probably to the spring of 1792 when Martínez was in Madrid.
José Camón Aznar. Fran. de Goya. Vol. 2, Saragossa, 1981, p. 95, ill. p. 214.
O.N.V. Glendinning. Letter to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. January 4, 1982, dates it June–July 1792, based upon diary entries by Pedro González de Sepúlveda, an engraver of medals, who mentions Martínez being in Madrid on June 7 and departing July 27, by which time he seems to have become a familiar figure in artistic circles [Biblioteca Nacional de Madrid, MSS 12628, f142v].
Marianna Haraszti-Takács in "Deux portraits de Goya, Manuela Ceán Bermúdez et José Antonio de Caballero." Bulletin du Musée Hongrois des Beaux-Arts 60–61 (1983), pp. 121–22, as probably painted in Madrid before Goya's illness.
Edward J. Sullivan. "Goya's 'Two Portraits' of Amalia Bonells de Costa." Arts Magazine 57 (January 1983), pp. 78, 80.
Pierre Gassier. Goya: Témoin de son temps. Secaucus, 1983, pp. 156, 176, fig. 95 [French ed., 1983], dates it to the spring of 1792 when Martínez was in Madrid and says it would have been impossible for Goya to work in Cádiz later that year.
Julián Gállego inGoya en las colecciones madrileñas. Exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid, 1983, p. 55, fig. 25 [French translation of this essay is published in "Goya," Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Belgium, 1985].
John Pope-Hennessy. "Roger Fry and The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Oxford, China, and Italy: Writings in Honour of Sir Harold Acton on his Eightieth Birthday. Ed. Edward Chaney and Neil Ritchie. London, 1984, p. 233.
Nigel Glendinning. "El retrato en la obra de Goya: Aristócratas y burgueses de signo variado." Goya, nuevas visiones: Homenaje a Enrique Lafuente Ferrari. Ed. Isabel García de la Rasilla and Francisco Calvo Serraller. Madrid, 1987, pp. 185–86, 191, fig. 3 (color).
Sarah Symmons. Goya: In Pursuit of Patronage. London, 1988, pp. 140, 143, ill. p. 141.
Juliet Wilson-Bareau. "Goya and the Spirit of Enlightenment, Madrid." Burlington Magazine 130 (December 1988), pp. 950–51.
Margarita Moreno de las Heras et. al. inGoya and the Spirit of Enlightenment. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Boston, 1989, pp. lix, lxvi, xcvi, 43–46, 273, 398, no. 19, ill. (color, overall and detail) [Spanish ed., 1988], states that "those who knew the sitter would have recognized the sheet [in his hand] as a print from his important collection".
Janis A. Tomlinson. Francisco Goya: The Tapestry Cartoons and Early Career at the Court of Madrid. Cambridge, 1989, pp. 211–13, fig. 146, cites a June 26, 1792 bill for stretched canvases and dates our portrait to about that time, as Martínez was then visiting Madrid, attending a meeting of the Royal Academy; notes that the lines in the upper right corner [recto] identify the paper held by the sitter as a print.
Jeannine Baticle. Goya. Paris, 1992, pp. 201, 208.
José Rogelio Buendía. La Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida: Historia e itinerario artístico. Madrid, 1992, p. 25, fig. 21 (color), notes that in October 1792 Goya received permission to travel to Saragossa to visit his brother and on this occasion, stayed in Cádiz where he probably painted this portrait.
Nigel Glendinning. Goya, la década de los caprichos: Retratos, 1792–1804. Exh. cat.Madrid, 1992, pp. 105, 108, 134, 139–41, no. 48, ill. (color), dates the portrait between May and July 1792, during Martínez's visit to Madrid; observes that the sitter's opulent jacket can be seen as an advertisement, since Martínez made part of his income in the silk trade.
María Pemán Medina. "Estampas y libros que vió Goya en casa de Sebastián Martínez." Archivo español de arte 65 (July–December 1992), p. 306.
Görel Cavalli-Björkman inGoya. Exh. cat., Nationalmuseum. Stockholm, 1994, pp. 47, 86, no. 16, fig. 6, ill. p. 87 (color).
Nigel Glendinning. "Spanish Inventory References to Paintings by Goya, 1800–1850: Originals, Copies and Valuations." Burlington Magazine 136 (February 1994), pp. 100, 102, 109, discusses the inventory of Martínez's art collection in which this portrait is listed among paintings from his house in Cádiz assigned to his daughter Catalina; also mentions the undated inventory of Martínez's son-in-law, Fernando Casado de Torres, in which this painting also appears, valued at 1,000 reales.
José Luis Morales y Marín. Goya: Catálogo de la pintura. Saragossa, 1994, pp. 32, 221–22, no. 213, ill. [English ed., 1997].
Janis Tomlinson. Francisco Goya y Lucientes, 1746–1828. London, 1994, pp. 93, 107, colorpl. 66, suggests that Martínez commissioned the portrait during his visit to Madrid in June and July of 1792.
Aurelia Maria Romero Coloma. "Cádiz en la vida de Francisco de Goya." Boletin del Museo e Instituto "Camón Aznar" no. 55 (1994), p. 18.
Susan Alyson Stein inGoya in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1995, pp. 37, 39, 54, 57, 67, fig. 23 (color), figs. 25, 33, 38–40 (installation views), notes that Roger Fry did not hang the picture with the museum's "miserable 'Goyas'" but with other works of like quality; observes that in 1906 when the painting was first hung in the MMA galleries, its "distinctive qualities... gave it broad appeal that extended from aficionados of Goya's art to those, like Fry, who were not".
Holland Cotter. "World of Goya and Those Who Would Be Goya." New York Times (September 15, 1995), p. C30.
Nigel Glendinning. "Goya's Portraits: Changing Perspectives on Originals and Copies." Goya in the Museum's Collection: Controversies and Insights. October 20, 1995, notes that a comparison with old photographs of the painting indicates slight losses in the leaf pattern of the jacket's lining and abrasion in the upper background.
José Luis Morales y Marín and Wifredo Rincón García. Goya en las colecciones aragonesas. Saragossa, 1995, p. 75, ill.
Katharine Baetjer. European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born Before 1865: A Summary Catalogue. New York, 1995, p. 164, ill.
José Manuel Arnaiz. "Nuevas andanzas de Goya: Falsos y auténticos en el Metropolitan." Galería antiquaria no. 136 (February 1996), p. 44, ill. (color).
Jeannine Baticle. "Goya au Metropolitan." Connaissance des arts no. 527 (April 1996), pp. 60, 63, fig. 3 (color).
Juan J. Luna inGoya: 250 aniversario. Exh. cat.Madrid, 1996, p. 28.
Juliet Wilson-Bareau. "Goya in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Burlington Magazine 138 (February 1996), p. 102, comments that this painting shows Goya's ability to "achieve a remarkable degree of naturalness" within the strictures of Spanish portraiture of the period.
Enrique Arias Anglés. Goya. Madrid, 1996, pp. 38, 62, ill. p. 39 (color).
Janis Tomlinson inPainting in Spain in the Age of Enlightenment: Goya and His Contemporaries. Ed. Ronda Kasl and Suzanne L. Stratton. Exh. cat., Indianapolis Museum of Art. [Indianapolis], 1997, pp. 250–51, no. 48, ill. p. 112 (color), suggests that it was painted during Martínez's visit to Madrid in June and July of 1792; states that "whether because Goya was in search of a patron or merely on very warm terms with the sitter, the portrait is perhaps the greatest of his career to 1792"; describes the paper in the sitter's hand as an engraving.
Jean-Louis Augé inGoya: Un regard libre. Exh. cat., Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille. Paris, 1998, pp. 61, 71–72, ill.
Sarah Symmons. Goya. London, 1998, pp. 113, 116–17, fig. 74 (color).
Susann Waldmann. Goya and the Duchess of Alba. New York, 1998, pp. 27, 30, ill. p. 26 (color), dates it before or during Goya's illness, probably in the last weeks of 1792.
Robert Hughes. Goya. New York, 2003, p. 129, ill. (color).
Nigel Glendinning inThe Spanish Portrait: From El Greco to Picasso. Ed. Javier Portús. Exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado. London, 2004, pp. 235, 361, no. 60, ill. p. 255 (color) [Spanish ed., 2004].
Susan Grace Galassi in Jonathan Brown and Susan Grace Galassi. Goya's Last Works. Exh. cat., Frick Collection. New York, 2006, p. 88, fig. 35 (color).
Benito Navarrete Prieto and Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez inEn torno a Santa Rufina: Velázquez de lo íntimo a lo cortesano. Exh. cat., [Hospital de los Venerables]. [Seville], , pp. 13, 21, 108, 111, fig. 1 (color).
José Beltrán Fortes and Juan Fernández Lacomba inEl rescate de la antigüedad clásica en Andalucía. Exh. cat., Hospital de los Venerables. Seville, , pp. 214–16, no. 46, ill. (color).
Old Master & British Paintings. Sotheby's, London. December 9, 2009, p. 74, fig. 1 (color), under no. 26.
Xavier Bray. Goya: The Portraits. Exh. cat., National Gallery. London, 2015, pp. 79–80, fig. 40 (color).
Thomas Gayford in Xavier Bray. Goya: The Portraits. Exh. cat., National Gallery. London, 2015, p. 236.
Caroline Elam. Roger Fry and Italian Art. London, 2019, pp. 46, 53, fig. 1.35 (color).
Laura D. Corey and Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen. "Visions of Collecting." Making The Met, 1870–2020. Ed. Andrea Bayer with Laura D. Corey. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2020, pp. 140, 266 n. 58.
The frame is from Madrid and dates to about 1790 (see figs. 1–4 above). This elegant Louis XVI style giltwood frame is made of pine and secured at the corners with mortise and tenon joints. The triple pearl and reel carved sight edge lies within the flat frieze. Lamb’s tongue ornament rises to the top edge fillet which is enhanced by outer twisted ribbon and stick carving on a step. The straight sides are reduced by a chamfer at the back edge. Applied paterae framed by a fillet form the corner blocks. Though awkwardly resized with cuts through the frieze on all four sides this restrained neoclassical frame retains its original burnished and matte water gilding on deep red bole.
Timothy Newbery with Cynthia Moyer 2016; further information on this frame can be found in the Department of European Paintings files
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