The theme painting of this blog—The Angelus by Jean-François Millet—would rightly suggest that I am a great fan of the French "peasant farmer" movement (Millet's other two masterpieces, The Sower and The Gleaners are spectacular as well.)
My family was in Chicago over the Christmas holiday last and spent an afternoon in the Art Institute there. I was searching for my wife, to tell her that we probably needed to be going, when I rounded the corner and was brought up short by The Song of the Lark by Jules Breton (the best, I think, of all of his works, although I have only seen a few of the originals.) I just stood there, transfixed. Not very poetic of me, but my exact word was, "Wow!" I'm not even close to a great art aficionado, but this painting is so evocative that I got choked up the other day just describing it to somebody.
Obviously no digital specimen can come even close to capturing the wonder of the original. If you are in Chicago, go see it.