Here are works that directly influence my purchasing decisions, whether by the subjects depicted, the manner in which they are created, or by the materials which are used. They are benchmark works that candidates from eBay are constantly compared to.
Leda and the Swan, by George de Forest Brush. This has an incredibly alluring mood that transcends its diminutive size. Note: oil on wood panel
Miss Tribbie – Portrait of the Artist’s Daughter, by George de Forest Brush. Note: oil on canvas
Henrietta Elizabeth Frederica Vane (ca. 1773-1807), by Gilbert Stuart
Portrait Bust of a Woman by Larkin Goldsmith Mead. Note the idealized and symmetrical (but not mechanically so!) features. This is orderly, elegant, refined, harmonious, calming.
Centaur and Dryad, by Paul Manship