Art: MUCH IN LITTLE

FOUR masterpieces from Washington's National Gallery are reproduced full-size on the following four pages. They have in common what art critics like to call "monumentality": when seen in reproduction, they are imagined to be much bigger than actuality; likewise, when seen in the eye of memory they look larger than their true size. Each merits the overworked word "gem," for each diffuses the sparkle of ages from a surface hardly more than a hand's span.

1) FRANCESCO GONZAGA, FOURTH MARQUIS OF MANTUA, by Ferrara's ERCOLE ROBERTI, imprisons a princely child in a formal 15th century portrait without robbing him of boyishness....

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