|Hold Your Hand 7×7 Collagraph with Colored Pencil|
|Fresh ink – on the press bed: the plate on the left and collagraph print on the right|
|Pulling a print after inking with slightly different colors|
|After inking & wiping the plate (a la poupee), I’m adjusting placement|
on the press bed, getting ready to print
|Sealing the plate with layers of Liquitex Gloss Medium & Varnish|
|Adding carborundum grit (#120) after carving layers from the mat board|
Oh, what a pity you are not here; what pleasure it would have given you to see Velazquez, who alone is worth the whole journey. The painters of every school who surround him in the Madrid Museum, and who are very well represented, all seem second rate in comparison to him. He is the painter to beat all painters. He didn’t astonish me, he enchanted me. The full-length portrait in the Louvre is not by him, only the authenticity of the Infanta cannot be doubted. There is an enormous picture here, filled with small figures like those in The Cavaliers in the Louvre, but the figures of the women and men in this one are perhaps better, and all of them are perfectly free of retouching. The background – the landscape – is by a pupil of Velazquez.
The most astonishing work in this splendid collection, and perhaps the most astonishing piece of painting that has ever been done, is the one entitled in the catalogue Portrait of a Celebrated Actor in the Time of Philip IV. The background fades into nothing; the old boy all in black, so olive, seems to be surrounded by air. And, ah, The Spinners; and the beautiful portrait of Alonzo Cano; and Las Meninas – another extraordinary picture! The philosophers – what astonishing works! And all the dwarfs too! – one in particular, seated full face with his hands on his hips; a painting for the real connoisseur. And his magnificent portraits! – one would have to include the lot; they are all masterpieces.
~Edouard Manet – in a letter to Fantin-Latour – while in Madrid in 1865, where he went to change his “ideas” after getting attacked by the critics when he exhibited Olympia at the Salon earlier that year.