Wow! Thanks for that, Dave! That is an amazing little drawing --never seen it before. There is a certain obsession with detail and textures in his work that is very interesting... You are lucky to get to see a show of his work! I've never seen one in person.
One thing that never shows up in photos of 'The Fairy Feller's Master Stroke' is the thickness of the paint. The surface is practically 3D, it almost resembles embroidery or a tapestry and I know everybody raves about the level of detail but I honestly find that secondary to the sheer skill on display at orchestrating so many figures (try counting them, I guarantee you'll miss a couple the first time) and so much plant life in that space.
It's the look in Ivan's eyes. It's just the expression of someone who would do anything to take back what they'd done. How they captured it, the sheer emotion of it, I'll never know.
And it's also the fact that his boy is reaching up to him, more like a little child than a grown man.
It's horribly tragic.
Nebamun fowling in the "Field of Reeds".
Nebamun and his wife are portrayed in the typical stereotypical way, for ritual purposes in the tomb, but this is one of those pieces of Egyptian art that have bits of real life added to it. The way the cat is depicted for instance, which seems more Roman than Egyptian, but most notably the way Nebamun's daughter is shown in a more naturalistic way than normal. While her kneeling position is conventional, that she is grabbing her father's leg and looking back over her shoulder, perhaps saying "Hey, look over there", shows more life and almost looks out of place in a tomb setting. This informal pose seems to hint at what was to come in Amarna art, and Nebamun was probably living during the reign of Amunhotep III.
I also really like the way the Egyptians depicted birds and feathers in their art and iconography, and this painting is I think the best surviving.
There were others in his circle with a similar style, but he shines above them, I think. Sorolla took great pains to paint from life. I suspect Krøyer and others did sketches at the live event, and then had the individuals pose for him later, as epic history painters often did. Many of his scenes are of other artists; easy to get them to pose for you, too! So, two of the most excellent painters I have seen Mønsted and Krøyer, both Danish.
Thanks for posting that ethereal portrait.