John Singer Sargent
Currently my favorite painter of all time. In my world he's up there with Leonardo, Rembrandt, and Vermeer. THEY could have learned from Sargent, as he undoubtedly learned from them; as Mozart learned from Bach.
Sargent is the Mozart of the canvas for me. Not that they were contemporary of course. Totally different periods, schools, and media.
But to me they are stylistically similar.
Mozart gives your ear exactly what it wants and needs to hear, as the music unfolds.
Singer Sargent does the same with your eye.
I've been to multiple exhibitions (I'm from NYC), some with instructional guides. Not that I'm any "expert" but let's face it - his mastery is beyond question, even it it's not your cup of tea. I'm fickle and sure to change at some point, but I just love every single one of his paintings.
I've studied his brushwork. There are no tentative stabs at the canvas with a tiny brush (guilty). No try and try again to get it, pixel (as it were) by pixel. Not at all. Look where you will and there are 2 or 3 masterful strokes and they do everything. And not much blending on the canvas and I love that. He mixes a color and then, with total authority, lays it down in the absolute most perfect location. Zoom in (or get close if you're privileged to be in the presence of the orig) and you see messiness and roughness. It's uncanny. Step away and it snaps into place - like a Renoir or a Monet - who obviously are also at this rarefied sphere of incredible greatness but right now it's JSS for me.
Love any comments - I'm totally obsessed by his work and style right now.