613. French Women
Best: Marie Denise Villers, Marie Josephine Charlotte du Val d’Ognes (1801). Of all the eyes looking at me in this gallery, hers are the ones that hold me. Light and shadow define the plain dress and spartan room, and we see a courting couple through a broken window pane. The composition is so simple, yet so intriguing.
Worst: Carle Vernet, The Triumph of Aemilius Paulus (1789). Poussin ad absurdum: scores of stock figures jumbled together without focus, while the background sports six monumental but undistinguished fantasies of Roman architecture.