Art: Only Me

Although the Alba family of Spain denies it to this day, most of the experts are convinced that Francisco Goya had a love affair with the duchess of his time. After the duke died in 1796 and the beautiful duchess retired from society, at 34, to mourn alone on the Alba estate, the painter apparently joined her. His great portrait of 1797, now hanging at the Hispanic Society Museum in Manhattan, is the clue. A vital and imperious creature at the peak of womanhood, she stands dressed in mourning, dramatically pointing to the sand by her toes. On her pointing finger...

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