Carl Larsson, "Anna Arnbom" (1909). This is so unlike a traditional "portrait," and yet it works wonderfully.
Vermeer, "The Kitchen Maid" (ca. 1658), Rijksmuseum. I could look at Vermeers for hours....
Vanessa Bell, "Poppies and Hollyhocks" (ca. 1940). Bell was drawn to still lifes -- I suppose it was due to both the deep stillness of her character and the turmoil of her life. Each of these aspects seem to come out in this particular painting, the quiet vividness of the flowers and the textile behind them, both still and full of motion.
Williamson, Daniel Alexander, "Coniston Old Man from Warton Crag" (ca. 1863), Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. Williamson was apparently on the fringes of the Pre-Raphaelite circle -- I had not heard of him or seen this painting before, but I like the warmth of the yellow flowers and the red in the middle distance against the blue of the "Old Man".
John Singer Sargent, "Coventry Patmore" (1894), National Portrait Gallery, London. I don't seem to have a particularly high opinion of Coventry Patmore, probably due to Virginia Woolf's (and other feminist writers') remonstrations against Patmore's very Victorian poem, "The Angel in the House" with its repressive picture of the ideal wife --
"Man must be pleased; but him to please
Is woman's pleasure; down the gulf
Of his condoled necessities
She casts her best, she flings herself...."
and this doesn't help -- but I love this portrait. It's a wonderful depiction of a face, the aging eyes and jowls, the moustache that manages to appear both splendid and wispy at the same time, the light that glints off of his hair, his forehead, and that one steely eye, with the supremely confident hand on hip. I cannot doubt that this is an incredibly true-to-life portrait, that Sargent has captured Patmore brilliantly.