Pérez’s loosely rolled up sleeves—a painterly tour de force—and relaxed expression combine with Goya’s nearly monochrome palette to create an exceptionally direct and informal portrait of the artist’s close friend, the architect Tiburcio Pérez. The year before, Goya had painted Pérez’s uncle, also an architect, in a far more regal and conventional portrait, which is today in the Cleveland Museum of Art. Pérez was responsible for the design of several institutional buildings in Madrid, including a medical school on the Calle de Atocha.
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Fig. 1. Goya, "Portrait of Don Juan Antonio Cuervo," 1819 (Cleveland Museum of Art; 1943.90)
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Title:Tiburcio Pérez y Cuervo (1785/86–1841), the Architect
Artist:Goya (Francisco de Goya y Lucientes) (Spanish, Fuendetodos 1746–1828 Bordeaux)
Medium:Oil on canvas
Dimensions:40 1/4 x 32 in. (102.2 x 81.3 cm)
Credit Line:Theodore M. Davis Collection, Bequest of Theodore M. Davis, 1915
Tiburcio Pérez y Cuervo was an architect and Goya’s close friend. He was the nephew of a well-known Neoclassical architect, Juan Antonio Cuervo, who was portrayed by Goya in 1819 (Cleveland Museum of Art; see fig. 1 above). Tiburcio was an architecture student at the Real Academia de San Fernando from 1801, and after his uncle became director of its architectural section in 1815, he was elected as an academician in 1818. During the Peninsular War Tiburcio lived with his uncle. In 1831 he designed, together with Francisco Javier de Mariátegui, the Royal College of Medicine on Calle de Atocha, and subsequently the gymnasium on the Paseo del Prado, both in Madrid. When Goya left for Bordeaux, in 1824, he entrusted his ten-year-old natural daughter, Rosario Weiss, to Tiburcio, before Rosario and her mother Leocadia joined him in France (for the life of Pérez, see Galassi 2006).
The portrait was painted after Goya’s near-fatal illness in 1819–20, during his residence in the Quinta del Sordo in the outskirts of Madrid. The picture dates from the same period as the so-called "Black Paintings" and the Self-Portrait with Dr. Arrieta (Minneapolis Institute of Arts), painted in the same year. The informal mode of the portrait demonstrates the level of confidence between Pérez and Goya, and this is a much more direct and unceremonious image if compared to the portrait of Tiburcio’s uncle, Juan Antonio.
Tiburcio Pérez died without children, and the painting was inherited by Agustín Durán, husband of Cayetana Cuervo, Tiburcio’s cousin. Durán’s son, Francisco, sold the portrait to the dealer Durand-Ruel in 1903. It was acquired in the same year by Theodore M. Davis. After his death, in 1915, it was placed on loan to The Met and bequeathed in 1930.
Xavier F. Salomon 2012
Inscription: Signed, dated, and inscribed (lower left): A Tiburcio Perez / Goya. 1.820.
Tiburcio Pérez y Cuervo, Madrid (1820–d. 1841); Agustín Durán, Madrid (1841–d. 1862); his son, Francisco Durán y Cuervo, Madrid (by at least 1900–1903; sold to Durand-Ruel); [Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1903; sold for $11,000 to Davis]; Theodore M. Davis, Newport, R.I. (1903–d. 1915; his estate, on loan to The Met, 1915–30)
Madrid. Real Academia de San Fernando. 1821, no catalogue [see Céan Bermúdez 1821 and Glendinning 2004].
Madrid. Ministerio de Instrucción Pública y Bellas Artes. "Goya," May 1900, no. 105 (lent by D. Francisco Durán y Cuervo).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Francisco Goya: His Paintings, Drawings and Prints," January 27–March 8, 1936, no. 18.
Art Institute of Chicago. "The Art of Goya: Paintings, Drawings, and Prints," January 30–March 2, 1941, no. 138.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Goya: Drawings and Prints," May 4–30, 1955, no. 190.
The Hague. Mauritshuis. "Goya," July 4–September 13, 1970, no. 51.
Paris. Musée de l'Orangerie. "Goya," September 25–December 7, 1970, no. 51.
Paris. Centre Culturel du Marais. "Goya 1746–1828: Peintures, dessins, gravures," March 13–June 16, 1979, no. 19.
Madrid. Museo Nacional del Prado. "Goya y el espiritu de la ilustración," October 6–December 18, 1988, no. 122.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Goya and the Spirit of Enlightenment," January 18–March 26, 1989, no. 122.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Goya and the Spirit of Enlightenment," May 9–July 16, 1989, no. 122.
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. "Goya: 250 aniversario," March 30–June 2, 1996, no. 152.
Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille. "Goya: Un regard libre," December 12, 1998–March 14, 1999, no. 57.
Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Goya: Another Look," April 11–July 11, 1999, unnumbered cat.
Glasgow. Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery. "Goya: Seeing it in Black and White," June 16–September 9, 2000, no catalogue.
Berlin. Alte Nationalgalerie. "Goya: Prophet der Moderne," July 13–October 3, 2005, no. 138.
Vienna. Kunsthistorisches Museum. "Goya: Prophet der Moderne," October 18, 2005–January 8, 2006, no. 138.
New York. Frick Collection. "Goya's Last Works," February 22, 2006–May 14, 2006, no. 5.
Madrid. Museo Nacional del Prado. "Goya en tiempos de guerra," April 14–July 13, 2008, no. 193.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Goya: Order and Disorder," October 12, 2014–January 19, 2015, unnumbered cat. (fig. 125).
London. National Gallery. "Goya: The Portraits," October 7, 2015–January 10, 2016, no. 62.
Juan Agustín Ceán Bermúdez. "Manifestacion en la Academia de San Fernando de las obras pertenecientes a las Bellas Artes, executadas en este año de 1821." Ocios sobre Bellas Artes. 1821 [MS 21.458/1 of the BN, Madrid; information provided by Nigel Glendinning; see e-mails of March 2 and 3, 2006 in departmental file], admires the naturalism of a half-length portrait of a young man in shirt sleeves, whose freedom of execution leaves no doubt that it is by Goya
Elías Tormo y Monzó. "Las pinturas de Goya (con motivo de la Exposición de sus obras, en Madrid)." Revista de la Asociación Artístico Arqueológica Barcelonesa 2 (July–August 1900), p. 600.
Narciso Sentenach. "Notas sobre la exposición de Goya." La España moderna 138 (June 1900), the article appears on pp. 34–53 [reprinted in "Goya 1900: Catálogo ilustrado y estudio de la exposición en el ministerio de instrucción pública y bellas artes," vol. 1, Madrid, 2002, p. 213], remarks that this superb figure would never be recognized as a member of the Academy of San Fernando, but one does notice his eccentricities.
Antonio Cánovas y Vallejo. "La exposición de cuadros de Goya." La Época (May 12, 1900) [reprinted in "Goya 1900: Catálogo ilustrado y estudio de la exposición en el ministerio de instrucción pública y bellas artes," vol. 1, Madrid, 2002, p. 165].
Juan Pérez de Guzmán. "Goya y su época." La Época (May 21, 1900) [reprinted in "Goya 1900: Catálogo ilustrado y estudio de la exposición en el ministerio de instrucción pública y bellas artes," vol. 1, Madrid, 2002, p. 168], describes the sitter as a dandy.
Paul Lafond. Goya. Paris, , p. 135, no. 183.
S. L. Bensusan. "Goya: His Times and Portraits. Part II." Connoisseur 4 (October 1902), p. 123, ill. p. 115.
Valerian von Loga. Francisco de Goya. Berlin, 1903, pp. 142, 144, 202, no. 300, pl. 84 [2nd ed., 1921].
Richard Oertel. Francisco de Goya. Bielefeld, 1907, p. 160, fig. 135, erroneously as still with Durand-Ruel, Paris; observes that it is one of the last portraits Goya painted in Madrid and notes that few 19th-century portraits make such a strong impression; states that the sitter sat for relatively brief periods at the Quinta del Sordo until the portrait was completed.
Albert F. Calvert. Goya, an Account of His Life and Works. London, 1908, p. 139, no. 210, pl. 84, erroneously as still in the collection of Durán y Cuervo.
Hugh Stokes. Francisco Goya: A Study of the Work and Personality of the Eighteenth Century Spanish Painter and Satirist. London, 1914, pp. 278, 333, no. 152, calls it "brother to" Goya's portrait of Ramón Satué (1823; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam); erroneously listed still with Durand-Ruel.
A. de Beruete y Moret. Goya: Pintor de retratos. Madrid, 1916, pp. 140–41, 181, no. 271, pl. 52 [English ed., 1922, pp. 172, 215, no. 280, pl. 55], erroneously as in the Havemeyer collection.
Jean Tild. Goya. Paris, 1921, p. 121, refers to the sitter as a toreador.
August L. Mayer. Francisco de Goya. Munich, 1923, pp. 90, 167, 199, no. 380, pl. 292 [English ed., 1924, pp. 70, 131, 163, no. 380, pl. 292], observes that the naturalness of this picture marks a new stage in the development of Goya as a portraitist, and that it is perhaps surpassed in only one other portrait, that of Ramón Satué [now Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam].
A. de Beruete y Moret. Conferencias de arte. Madrid, 1924, p. 327, ill. opp. p. 326, erroneously as in the Havemeyer collection.
Francisco Zapater y Gómez. Colección de cuatrocientas cuarenta y nueve reproducciones de cuadros, dibujos y aguafuertes de Don Francisco de Goya . . . publicadas por Don Francisco Zapater y Gómez en 1860. Madrid, 1924, pl. 97, erroneously as in the Havemeyer collection.
Tomás G. Larraya. Goya: Su vida, sus obras. Barcelona, 1928, p. 180, as in the MMA collection.
X. Desparmet Fitz-Gerald. L'oeuvre peint de Goya: Catalogue raisonné. Paris, 1928–50, vol. 1, p. 37; vol. 2, pp. 222, 325, no. 511, p. 332, pl. 425, erroneously lists Havemeyer in the provenance.
R. Gómez de la Serna. Goya. Madrid, , p. 279, erroneously as in the Havemeyer collection.
F.J. Sanchez Cantón. Goya. Paris, 1930, pp. 76–77, pl. 75.
Lord [George] Derwent. Goya: An Impression of Spain. London, 1930, p. 86, pl. 14, calls the late portraits of Goya's friends "masterpieces of simplicity" in which the focus is always on the sitters' faces.
Bryson Burroughs. "The Theodore M. Davis Bequest: The Paintings." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 26, section 2 (March 1931), pp. 15–16, ill. p. 21.
Francisco Goya: His Paintings, Drawings and Prints. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1936, unpaginated, no. 18, ill.
Harry B. Wehle. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Italian, Spanish, and Byzantine Paintings. New York, 1940, pp. 251–52, ill., calls it typical of Goya's late style in its vigorous handling, sober color, and informal spirit.
José Gudiol. Goya. New York, 1941, pp. 114, 116.
Daniel Catton Rich. The Art of Goya: Paintings, Drawings and Prints. Exh. cat., Art Institute of Chicago. Chicago, 1941, p. 81, no. 138, ill., remarks that "these final portraits, in psychology and execution, lead on to Géricault and even to Courbet".
Harold E. Wethey. "The Goya Exhibition." Art in America 29 (April 1941), p. 99, notes that in this picture and the portrait of Juan Antonio Cuervo (1819; Cleveland Museum of Art) "the brilliant fluidity of Goya's late technique is combined with a penetrating analysis of the character of the men, each of whom is vibrant in his individualism".
Jean Adhémar. Goya. Paris, 1941, pl. 106.
Josep [sic] Gudiol. "The Goya Exhibition at Chicago." Art Bulletin 23 (June 1941), p. 169, mentions it among Goya's "most intense portraits" from his last period, painted while he was in exile in Bordeaux.
Leonardo Estarico. Francisco de Goya: El hombre y el artista. Buenos Aires, 1942, p. 266, pl. 163.
Francisco Pompey. Goya: Su vida y sus obras. Madrid, 1945, p. 66, ill.
Enrique Lafuente Ferrari. Antecedentes, coincidencias e influencias del arte de Goya: Catalogo ilustrado de la exposicion celebrada en 1932. Madrid, 1947, pp. 133, 157 n. 3, cites it as one of Goya's late works that anticipate a new romantic sensibility.
F. J. Sanchez Canton. Vida y obras de Goya. Madrid, 1951, pp. 117–18, 172, pl. 87.
Antonina Vallentin. Goya. Paris, , pp. 373–74, pl. 30, describes the sitter as seeming to possess the same "rude, sensual, and intrepid" temperament as Goya himself; calls it a picture of a man of the new generation, conveying an aggressive force, even in repose.
Josephine L. Allen and Elizabeth E. Gardner. A Concise Catalogue of the European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1954, p. 44.
Theodore Rousseau Jr. "A Guide to the Picture Galleries." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 12, part 2 (January 1954), p. 6, ill. p. 44.
A. Hyatt Mayor. "The Gifts that Made the Museum." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 16 (November 1957), ill. p. 89.
Juan Antonio Gaya Nuño. La pintura española fuera de España. Madrid, 1958, pp. 79, 180–81, no. 1115.
Gabriel Rouchès. La peinture espagnole des origines au XXe siècle. Paris, 1958, p. 438.
Elizabeth du Gué Trapier. Goya and His Sitters: A Study of His Style as a Portraitist. New York, 1964, pp. 42, 57, no. 79, figs. 79, 81 (overall and detail), calls it one of the most characteristic portraits of Goya's late period and quite similar in pose and technique to the Rijksmuseum picture of Ramón Satué; erroneously lists Havemeyer in the provenance.
Francisco Javier Sánchez Cantón. Goya. New York, , pp. 24, 78, fig. 110 (color).
Gaspar Gómez de la Serna. Goya y su España. Madrid, 1969, pp. 236, 288.
Pierre Gassier and Juliet Wilson. Vie et oeuvre de Francisco Goya. Ed. François Lachenal. Fribourg, Switzerland, 1970, pp. 300, 304, 323, no. 1630, ill. pp. 304, 329 [English ed., 1971], call it one of the finest examples of Goya's informal style.
José Gudiol. Goya 1746–1828: Biographie, analyse critique et catalogue des peintures. Paris, 1970, vol. 1, pp. 190, 334, no. 698; vol. 4, figs. 1153, 1154 (overall and detail) [Spanish ed., 1969–70; English ed., vol. 1, pp. 194, 342, no. 698; vol. 4, figs. 1153, 1154 (overall and detail)], notes parallels between the vigorous, energetic technique and the character of the sitter; comments on "those flat, fluid and sensuous qualities" that would predominate in some Impressionist painting.
Jacques Paul Dauriac. "Orangerie des Tuileries. Exposition: Goya." Pantheon 28 (November–December 1970), p. 535.
Jeannine Baticle. Goya. Exh. cat., Mauritshuis. The Hague, 1970, unpaginated, no. 51, ill. [Dutch and French eds., 1970], notes that this portrait dates from a period when Goya received few commissions because of political instability in Spain; does not believe the inscription is by the artist [English ed. only].
Julián Gállego. "Crónica de Paris." Goya (November–December 1970), p. 167.
José López-Rey. "Goya: Madmen and Monarchs." Art News 69 (October 1970), p. 56.
Rita de Angelis. L'opera pittorica completa di Goya. Milan, 1974, p. 132, no. 620, ill. p. 131 and colorpl. 51.
Nigel Glendinning. "Convention and Character in Goya's Portraits." Biography in the 18th Century. Ed. J.D. Browning. New York, 1980, pp. 191–92, views it as characteristic of Goya's later portraits in which he shows a "preoccupation with features and character rather than with aesthetic patterns or conventions" and remarks that he "focuses on the man rather than on his work or standing in society".
José Camón Aznar. Fran. de Goya. Vol. 4, Saragossa, 1982, pp. 139, 142, ill. p. 201 (color), dates it 1822; compares its informality and directness with the "girondino" type of portrait popular in 19th-century Europe.
Pierre Gassier. Goya: Témoin de son temps. Secaucus, 1983, pp. 264, 267 [French ed., 1983], comments that this is one of the few pictures which can be dated with certainty to Goya's years at the Quinta del Sordo, from 1820–23.
Julián Gállego inGoya en las colecciones madrileñas. Exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid, 1983, pp. 55, 68–69 [French translation of this essay is published in "Goya," Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Belgium, 1985], observes that this picture ushers in a new era of sympathetic subjects in Goya's portraiture.
Margarita Moreno de las Heras et. al. inGoya and the Spirit of Enlightenment. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Boston, 1989, p. 273, no. 122, ill. p. 274 (color) [Spanish ed., 1988], finds the same intimacy in the portrait of Sebastián Martinez, 1792 (MMA 06.289); remarks that the just completed "Black Paintings" influenced the palette and density of brushstrokes in this picture.
Jeannine Baticle. Goya. Paris, 1992, pp. 446–47, calls it the first modern portrait of the 19th century.
José Luis Morales y Marín. Goya: Catálogo de la pintura. Saragossa, 1994, pp. 37, 105, 347–48, no. 498, ill. [English ed., 1997], notes this picture's influence on Manet and relates it to the "girondino" portrait type of the early 19th century.
Janis Tomlinson. Francisco Goya y Lucientes, 1746–1828. London, 1994, pp. 252, 255, 265, colorpl. 208, comments on the "painterly integration" of sitter and ambience that contrasts with Goya's earlier portraits in which the "figure stands before and independent of the ground".
Susan Alyson Stein inGoya in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1995, pp. 30, 39, 45, 48, 50–51, 54, 57–58, 67, fig. 18 (color), figs. 33, 38–41 (installation views).
Nigel Glendinning. "Goya's Portraits: Changing Perspectives on Originals and Copies." Goya in the Museum's Collection: Controversies and Insights. October 20, 1995, in comparison to the Cleveland portrait of Juan Antonio Cuervo, comments on the lack of reference to Pérez's profession and attributes this to a "movement in Goya's lifetime towards the depiction of individual character as opposed to status".
Katharine Baetjer. European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born Before 1865: A Summary Catalogue. New York, 1995, p. 165, ill.
José Manuel Arnaiz. "Nuevas andanzas de Goya: Falsos y auténticos en el Metropolitan." Galería antiquaria no. 136 (February 1996), p. 44, ill. p. 42 (color).
Jeannine Baticle. "Goya au Metropolitan." Connaissance des arts no. 527 (April 1996), pp. 60, 63, fig. 8 (color).
Juan J. Luna inGoya: 250 aniversario. Exh. cat.Madrid, 1996, pp. 33, 421–22, no. 152, ill. p. 253 (color) and p. 421, regards it as belonging stylistically to the Romantic period.
Juliet Wilson-Bareau. "Goya in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Burlington Magazine 138 (February 1996), p. 101, fig. 44, calls it a "black painting," noting that a black preparation was applied over the canvas, as evident in the signature and dedication where Goya "scratched through the surface" to show an underlying red ground.
María Teresa Rodríguez Torres. "Economía de guerra en Goya. Cuadros pintados con cañas." Goya 250 años después, 1746–1996: Congreso internacional. Marbella, 1996, pp. 140, 147–49, figs. 8, 12 (x-ray and detail of signature), after pigment analysis of this picture, in particular in the area of the artist's dedication, contradicts Wilson Bareau's [Ref. 1996] statement that a black preparation was applied over the ground.
Jean-Louis Augé inGoya: Un regard libre. Exh. cat., Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille. Paris, 1998, pp. 23–24, 252, no. 57, ill. p. 253 (color), perceives an element of modernity in this picture that anticipates Delacroix and Manet.
Joseph J. Rishel. Goya: Another Look. Exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia, 1999, p. 39, ill. p. 52 (color), calls it "a celebration of youthful confidence and assurance".
Isadora Rose-de Viejo. "Goya. Lille and Philadelphia." Burlington Magazine 141 (April 1999), p. 246.
Jesusa Vega inGoya 1900: Catálogo ilustrado y estudio de la exposicion en el Ministerio de Instrucción Publica y Bellas Artes. Madrid, 2002, vol. 1, p. 104; vol. 2, p. 206, no. 105, ill. p. 207 (photograph taken in 1900 by Mariano Moreno), notes that this portrait attracted the attention of critics at the Madrid exhibition in 1900 and that following the exhibition it was one of the first paintings to leave Spain; observes that the photograph made in 1900 reveals the painting's good condition at that time.
Manuela B. Mena Marqués in "Metamorfosis de un lienzo: ¿El retrato de Josefa Bayeu?" Goya. Madrid, 2002, pp. 175, 185, mentions this picture in relation to the portrait of a young woman, tentatively identified as Josefa Bayeu (about 1814; Prado, Madrid); notes that in both paintings, strong, energetic brushstrokes suggest form and texture in an almost abstract manner that is markedly different from Goya's earlier, more finished portraits
Nigel Glendinning inThe Spanish Portrait: From El Greco to Picasso. Ed. Javier Portús. Exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado. London, 2004, p. 249, fig. 111 (color) [Spanish ed., 2004], cites Céan Bermúdez's admiration for this portrait's freedom of execution when it was exhibited at the Academy of San Fernando in 1821 [see Ref. Bermúdez 1821]].
Manuela Mena Marqués inGoya: Prophet der Moderne. Ed. Peter-Klaus Schuster et al. Exh. cat., Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin. Cologne, 2005, pp. 13, 310–11, no. 138, ill. (color), contrasts the spontaneous, unaffected pose of this sitter with the more formal likeness of Pérez's uncle, Juan Antonio Cuervo (Cleveland Museum of Art).
Michael Kimmelman. "Goya, Unflinching, Defied Old Age." New York Times (February 24, 2006), p. E39, describes this portrait as resembling Goya as a young man.
Susan Grace Galassi in Jonathan Brown and Susan Grace Galassi. Goya's Last Works. Exh. cat., Frick Collection. New York, 2006, pp. 5, 90–93, no. 5, ill. (color), notes that Pérez's black suit and white shirt were typical attire for the aristocracy and professional class following the French Revolution, representing the ideal of equality; comments that Pérez "personifies the new professional man" and that his "robust good looks, sensuality, and allegedly tempestuous nature... appear to have challenged the aging artist to push beyond the limits of his previous portraits to capture his sitter's image in as direct and unmediated a means as possible".
Manuela B. Mena Marqués inGoya en tiempos de guerra. Ed. Manuela B. Mena Marqués. Exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid, 2008, pp. 508–9, no. 193, ill. (color).
Nigel Glendinning. "Goya, retratista de la familia real." Reales sitios 45, no. 175 (2008), p. 40, describes the style and liberty of execution of this painting, so admired by Ceán Bermúdez [see Ref. 1821], as learned from the works of Velázquez.
María Teresa Rodríguez Torres. Un Retrato de Palafox en "La Familia de Carlos IV". [Madrid], , pp. 214–15.
Janis A. Tomlinson inGoya: Order & Disorder. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Boston, 2014, pp. 197, 199, 365 n. 16, p. 384, fig. 125 (color).
Xavier Bray. Goya: The Portraits. Exh. cat., National Gallery. London, 2015, pp. 191–93, 195, no. 62, ill. (color).
Thomas Gayford in Xavier Bray. Goya: The Portraits. Exh. cat., National Gallery. London, 2015, p. 232.
Allison Goudie in Xavier Bray. Goya: The Portraits. Exh. cat., National Gallery. London, 2015, p. 252.
Holger Steinemann. Goya. Exh. cat., Fondation Beyeler. Basel, 2021, p. 40, ill. p. 42 (color) [French ed., p. 39, ill. p. 42 (color)].
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