Technical matters aside, a measure of the greatness of a painter of people is the ability to convey humanity in all its forms.
In this painting of the interior of a tavern, Norwegian-Danish painter Peder Severin Krøyer (1851-1909) portrays a couple of groups of hard-working men, probably fishermen from the village of Skagen.
Krøyer brings his compassionate focus to a man who sits alone with his pipe and his bottle of drink. The man has a ruddy face, a heavy brow, a bent ear, a protruding lower lip, and a broken nose.
From the same hand comes this painting of the Benzon daughters of 1897. They are the essence of freshness and innocence, smiling shyly, bathed in the warmth of summer light and air.
This sympathy for the full range of the human condition is as welcome in a painter as it is in a great writer, like Dickens or Shakespeare.
Wikipedia on Kroyer: link.
Tavern painting is in the Philadelphia Museum.
Earlier GJ post about Kroyer's "Hip, Hip, Hurra!", link.