John Singer Sargent - Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (1885-1886) at the Tate Museum in London
Words cannot adequately express the experience of seeing this painting for the first time. I was 15 and knew nothing of the world. I was wandering around the Tate Museum for the day while my mother attended a conference, and it was the most amazing experience.
I vividly remember rounding a corner and being struck by the beauty of this painting. The colours were what captivated me first; the rich, peachy tones that seemed to burst out of the low-lit dusk. I always remember the lanterns incorrectly as jars of fireflies, maybe because the painting had a magical quality to it, like looking at a dream you once had.
A photo doesn’t fully capture the magic of a painting, but the Google Art Project comes pretty darn close. I need to visit that site more often!