Pollice Verso by Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1872
Jean-Léon Gérôme is one of my favorite painters, and this is probably his most famous work. Fun fact: producers for the film Gladiator were armed with a reproduction of this painting when they pitched the script to Ridley Scott. He said, “That image spoke to me of the Roman Empire in all its glory and wickedness.”
One of my favorites, as well. The lighting, the atmosphere, the posing…so perfect.