The major histocompatibility complex and the quest for origins

Jan Klein, Naoyuki Takahata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


I have decided to die in December. But before my death, I still want to paint a picture that I have had in my head, and for a month I have been working feverishly day and night ... Sure, one cannot judge one's own work properly: but I believe anyway that this painting not only surpasses all my earlier ones but also that I will never paint anything better or equal ... It is a canvas four-and-a-half meters long and one meter seventy high. The upper corners are chrome yellow, left an inscription, right the signature, like a fresco that has been painted on a golden wall and has not been finished in the corners. Lower down on the right is a sleeping child, then three women in a squatting position. Two figures are intimating each other their thoughts. Another one, larger than life-size -intentionally disregarding perspective - cowers, raises her arms, and looks with astonishment at those two beings who dare to reflect on their destiny. A figure in the center plucking fruit. Two cats next to a child. A white goat. The idol raises its arms mysteriously and rhythmically and seems to look into the future. A sitting figure appears to harken the deity. And finally, an old woman, close to death. She seems to be having her final thoughts, thus completing the legend; at her feet is a strange bird holding a salamander in his claws. This stands for the futility of idle talk. All this is happening at the edge of a spring in the woods. In the background there is the sea and the mountains of a neighboring island. Despite the transition in tones, the landscape changes from one side to the other between blue and Veronese green. From this the naked figures stand out in a bright orange. If somebody told students of the Beaux-Arts at the competition for the Prix de Roma: "Paint a picture on the theme: Où Venons-Nous? Que Sommes-Nous? Où Allons-Nous? -what would you do?" I have completed a philosophical work on this theme, a parallel to the Gospel. I believe it is good.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)X-25
JournalImmunological Reviews
Issue number113
StatePublished - Feb 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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