I also like Joseph Wright of Derby, along with French artists Paul Delaroche, and his pupil, Adolphe Yvon, both of whom specialized in evocative historical paintings.
Wright of Derby was famous for his dramatic candlelit scenes that often chronicled the Enlightenment, and landscape paintings, such as these: Bird in the Air Pump Experiment
- one of my favorite paintings The Synot Children
Paul Delaroche is famous for his historical paintings: The Execution of Lady Jane Grey
- excellent painting, not at all accurate historically, but technically and emotionally superb Cromwell before the Coffin of Charles I
- again, historically unlikely but nonetheless emotionally poignant
Central Panel of the Hemicycle at the Ecole des Beaux Arts depicting the architect and sculptors of the Parthenon (seated in the center), with the female figures representing muses and goddesses of art
Adolphe Yvon was a student of Delaroche, and painting primarily commissioned historical depictions. The paintings below respresent quasi-historical events with plenty of metaphorical trappings. Caesar Genius of America