There are a handful of paintings at the Met that made a huge impression on me when I first saw them. Two of them are Sanford Robinson Gifford's A Gorge in the Mountains (Kauterskill Clove) and Frederic Edwin Church's The Aegean Sea. Every time I see these paintings, I ask myself, "How did he paint that?!"
I'm amazed by the sunlight in A Gorge in the Mountains (Kauterskill Clove), and I wonder how Gifford made it seem so realistic. How did he paint the sun reflecting off the trees and still capture all their details?
When I look at The Aegean Sea, I wonder how Church painted those two majestic rainbows. The arcs are perfectly parallel, and the colors are exquisite; they seem to pop out and complement the colors of the trees, rocks, and water.
What works of art at the Met make you wonder how they were created?