A visit to the Met

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Today I visited New York’s Metropolitan Museum for the first time in six years. Like drowning in cream. I spend almost two hours in the Greek and Roman galleries, mainly looking at sculpture, but in a big art museum like this I’m always most drawn to faces, especially painted portraits. I think portrait painters and novelists have a lot in common: their highest goal is to bottle the lightning of human personality. Above, magnificently, is Velasquez’s slave (later freed, later a painter himself) Juan de Pareja.