There is an art museum here on campus, and I have never seen all of it. It's right next to the main library, and I've even used the art library several times (it's attached to the museum). My first semester I went to one of the three floors and saw their ancient things, which was fun, but there were two unexplored floors. (In my defense, I tried to go a few times when I first came here but, for example, they were fumigating.)
So today I had an hour and a half to fill up, and I kind of wanted to break up my 11 hours of sitting with some walking...so off I went to the art museum. I started in the "Western Art: Late Medieval to the Present" collection. Once inside I stood there for a minute, breathing in art-filled air and suddenly all I felt was relief. And then I remembered that that always happens in a museum. I walk in and see beautiful things; they instantly start seeping into my being and all is right in the world.
In honor of museums the world over, here are some of my favorite paintings that I can remember off the top of my head (I have a folder of them on Vera so I may post an addendum later):
Maxfield Parrish's Lantern Bearers. American Illustration...I love it so! It's so unappreciated, especially by art historians (except me, of course. Hah!)
Caravaggio, for all his many, many flaws, has a special place in my heart. Is this best illustrated by a painting about decapitation? Maybe not, but it's just so mesmerizing.
Judith Beheading Holofernes
Things I have soft spots for: Jacques-Louis David, Napoleon and drama.
Napoleon Crossing the Alps, and, just because I love you, here is another version.
Sometimes I think Waterhouse doesn't get enough respect because his paintings are so popular with the common people, but really, his paintings are beautiful and wistful.
Rain! I love rain. And I love a good rainy atmosphere captured in a painting. Thank you, Caillebotte. This is also the only painting in this list I've seen in person.
Paris Street, Rainy Day