Hercules Segers, Rocky Landscape with a Gorge, First Version, 1625-30, Line etching and drypoint printed in blue, on a pink ground; second state of two, 6 x 6.3 inches, On view at ‘The Mysterious Landscapes of Hercules Segers’ exhibition at the MET in New York City

This guy’s a madman! — a compulsive!  How could one man have possibly done all this? Though he works small, his ambition is huge. He seems to want to make etching as malleable, expressive, comprehensive (and, eventually, respected) as painting is. Once you get into his weird scale and murmuring color a whole world opens up. A magnifying glass is essential. What appears to be a pervasive, foggy blur, slowly disperses. The sky clears, and an ocean of detail reveals itself.

Rackstraw Downes, At the Confluence of Two Ditches Bordering a Field with Four Radio Towers, 1995, Oil on canvas, 46 x 48 inches

Rackstraw Downes is a British-born, American-based realist painter and author. He is best known for his meticulously detailed oil paintings created over months of plein-air sessions depicting industry and the environment.