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Sept. 19. Goya’s little spritz

When I’m at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco I always stop to admire Goya’s portrait of Don Ramon de Posada & Soto (1801). It’s painted in thin, flat washes, here and there showing hints of the red ground–a very spare rendition. But when you come to the medal on his chest, the handling is very free and bouncy. And the bottom of his vest–so freely done that it looks as if the artist used that area to clean his brushes.

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