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Diego Rodriquez de Silva y Velazquez managed to fill his canvases with spirit and dignity, whether his subject was a nobleman or a twisted dwarf.

His exquisite use of color and the fluidity of his paint made him one of the most celebrated and honored artists of the 17th century Spanish School.The Metropolitan Museum of Art is showing the stylistic intellect of Velazquez at an exhibit through Jan. 7. The show includes his "An Old Woman Cooking Eggs" (1618), with its haunting reality, and "The Forge of Vulcan" and "Joseph's Coat," two large works painted during a trip to Italy in 1629-31.

In addition to the Velazquez exhibit, here is a list of other shows this season at some museums and galleries in the United States:

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston:

"Mary Cassatt: The Color Prints." Through Nov. 5.

Lucas Samaras, "Objects and Subjects, 1969-1986." Through Nov. 12.

"Textile Masterpieces." Through Dec. 31.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art:

Works of Robert Longo. A 12-year survey of the contemporary artist. Through Dec. 31.

J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, Calif.:

"15th and 16th Century Italian Drawings." The Renaissance and Mannerist periods. Through Oct. 22.

Museum of Modern Art, San Franciso:

"10 Plus 10: Contemporary Soviet and American Paintings." Through Nov. 5.

"Nicholas Nixon: Pictures of People." Through Nov. 5.

M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco:

"California Colorists: Society of Six." Through December.

"American Paintings from the Manoogian Collection," 19th century American paintings. Through Nov. 26.

Solomon R. Guggenhein Museum, New York:

First major American exhibition of works by Italian artist Mario Merz, who integrates natural materials into his work. Sept. 28-Nov. 26.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York:

"Masterworks of Ming and Qing Painting From the Forbidden City." Paintings dating from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. Through Oct. 29.

Flemish drawings and prints from 16th and 17th centuries. Through Nov. 12.

Museum of Modern Art, New York:

"Picasso and Braque: Pioneering Cubism." Through Jan. 16.

National Gallery of Art, Washington:

"Italian Etchers of the Renaissance and Baroque." Through Nov. 26.4

"Frans Hals." Through Dec. 31. "Frederic Edwin Church." Through Jan. 28, 1990.

"John Twachtman: Connecticut Landscapes." Through Jan. 28.

The Art Institute of Chicago:

"On the Art of Fixing a Shadow: 150 Years of Photography." Through Nov. 26.