The Most Powerful Artwork I Have Ever Seen

Paleolithic cave-painting of a bison and ibex in the ‘Salon Noir’ of the ‘Grotte de Niaux.’ (Photo by CM Dixon/Print Collector/Getty Images)

Photo: CM Dixon/Print Collector/Getty Images

I have places inside me where there are works of art: internal abysms that feel full, physical, like forces that fuse past and present. In the early 2000s, I spent four straight days in the Prado; all of it’s still within me like some huge, Proustian madeleine. Almost every Bosch, Cézanne, Matisse, Alice Neel, Bill Traylor, Martín Ramírez, and Marsden Hartley that I’ve ever seen can flash like lightning at will. I spent a day enraptured by Matthias Grünewald’s Isenheim Altarpiece in Colmar. (I still wonder

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