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  • Richard Farr

The pen is mightier: “GRAPHIC MASTERS” at the Seattle Art Museum

Such riches, all in half a dozen rooms. These, with apologies for my cell phone, are a few top picks. A famous masterpiece by Dürer, breathtaking in its depth, skill, assurance and complexity:

Two square inches of back-of-the-envelope genius by Rembrandt (a self-portrait).

A series of darkly mannered, cruel social skewerings by Hogarth, in The Rake’s Progress.

A self-portrait by Goya (which I liked better than any of his other work here).

Several rooms drenched with sun and post-coital contemplation in the form of Picasso’s brilliant, charming Vollard suite (Look at that shoulder! Look at the eyes! How the hell did he do it?).

And several whole rooms covering the entirety of Genesis, as reconceived by R. Crumb.

It was striking, I thought, that about 94% of all the happiness on display was in the Picasso.


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