Peter Paul Ruebens "The Artist and his First Wife, Isabella Brant, in the honeysuckle Bower" 1609-10
Alte Pinakothek, Munich
There are many painters who just blow me away! Right up there in my top 5 of all time has to be Ruebens. His understanding of paint as a medium of sublime revelation is just BEYOND! The self portrait with his first wife Isabella Brant (shown above) was done early in his career. It's a wonderful example of both technical skill and his innovative blending of conventional formality with human naturalness.