Aimé Morot - The Good Samaritan, 1880. Oil on canvas
Please take a moment just to look at this. Look at the reflection in the puddle of water in the foreground. Look at the rich contrast of the old man’s arm against his heavily-shadowed chest. Look at the delicate highlights on the man on the donkey’s bicep, and the slivers of light on his collar bone and neck. Look at how the old man’s feet are slightly swollen, because he probably walks so often. What’s most remarkable to me is that there is an extremely limited color palette here that has a tendency to dull or subdue a work, but the artist has imbibed this scene with such dignity that it completely flies in the face of its dusty tones. That’s quite a feat. This, to me, represents the pinnacle of art: detail in simplicity, and profundity of emotion created in the most unlikely of places.
Just wow. Unbelievably beautiful.