Though we hate to employ hackneyed superlatives and exhortations, theres no other way to say that Romanticism to Modernism is a once-in-a-lifetime, must-see exhibit. When else are you going to see fine prints by Giovanni Piranesi, Francisco de Goya, James McNeil Whistler, and Pablo Picasso together at one location? The four artists form an arc from Romanticism to Modernism and Goya is the keystone. Known as the last of the old masters and the first of the moderns, he smuggled surreal touches and political statements into his portraits of the Spanish monarchs, whom he described as looking like the corner baker and his wife after they won the lottery. You can ponder Goyas Disasters of War world-historic prints that stripped away Baroque pretensions about savage violence alongside a wealth of drawings by Picasso, whom Goya directly inspired. Again: must-see, once-in-a-lifetime.
Wednesdays-Sundays. Starts: Jan. 28. Continues through June 19, 2011