John W. Alexander's "Study in Black and Green" is simply spectacular. To know it only in a digital format is an injustice - go check it out at the MET in the American Wing exposed storage! Thanks to bjws.blogspot.com for the highest quality copy!
"Captain George kh Coussmaker" - Sir Joshua Reynolds
John Sargent’s “Madame X.” I am amazed every time I see her. The first word that comes to mind when I see her is “elegant” though that hardly does her justice. Notice the technique involved in the placement and orientation of her right hand.
"Aristotle" by Rembrandt. I heard a great lecture at the Met about the philosophic meaning behind this piece. Notice that Aristotle's right hand is on top of the bust of Homer, while his left (inferior hand) is placed lower on the chain with the coin of Achilles.
A portrait by Anthony van Dyck. Notice the skillfully painted hand. You can also tell that the subject is a man of learning by observing the globe on the desk and stencil in his left hand (presumably for cartography). On a larger version you can also see a violin bow indicating an aristocratic artistic training.
"The Calmady Children" by Sir Thomas Lawrence. This is a brilliant piece, and absolutely stunning at the MET. As the story goes, Lawrence was visiting a friend and saw his friend's children. He immediately begged his friend to let him paint a portrait right away, and this is the marvelous result.
One of my new favorites. "The Thinker" - Thomas Eakins. A man lost in thought.
"The Chess Players" - Thomas Eakins
John Singer Sargent's "Lady With the Rose." I wasn't able to get a good photo at the MET because this piece is in the exposed storage behind thick glass that has terrible glare. What is her expression saying?
One of my all time favorites, "Young Woman Drawing" by Maries-Denise Villers. This photo I took at the MET does not do justice to the most impressive part of this piece: the lighting. The soft light and shadows on her dress give off an angelic glow. From what I understand, "Young Woman Drawing" is actually a self-portrait.
Pope Benedict XIV by Pierre Hubert Subleyras. The amount of detail here is incredible. This photo actually does some justice to the impressive flesh-tones and rich colors.
"Dovendale by Moonlight" by Joseph Wright of Derby. In my opinion, one of the best landscapes in the MET. I love the mystery of the scene: a ravine with towering spires of rock lit by the full moon. The feeling is amplified by the high contrast of the white clouds on the night sky. Seems to add a hint of apprehension about the scene as well, as if something is (or will be) afoot.
"Lady Harriet Maria Conyngham" - Sir Thomas Lawrence. This is one of my new favorites. What I love most about this the background deep blues, grays, browns, and reds. Very present, but the colors and textures pale in comparison to the subject. She is beautiful.
Anthony Van Dyke - Self Portrait