Monday, 27 October 2014


REGATTA AT ARGENTEUIL - Wikepedia version
REGATTA AT ARGENTEUIL - Musee d'Orsay version
Claude Monet (1840-1926)
Regattas at Argenteuil
Circa 1872 
Oil on canvas
H. 48; W. 75 cm 
Paris, Musée d'Orsay 
Bequest of Gustave Caillebotte, 1894 
© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski
This is one of the challenges we have when studying famous works on the internet. The first image is the version as shown on Wikipedia and the second image is the one shown on the Musee d'Orsay website. I would think the more accurate version is the one published by the Museum where a painting hangs, but it's difficult to tell unless you are looking at the image on the website and standing in front of the painting at the same time. It's likely if you did that in the Musee d'Orsay you would quickly attract the attention of one of the docents.
I saw so many beautiful works of art in Paris and I'm sure I must have seen this, but I can't tell you which is more accurate. What I can say is that when you stand in front of one of Claude Monet's works you are struck by his unusual choices of colour. At this stage of his career he was painting largely in the soft and heavily mixed colours of version II rather than the more vibrant version. The Wikipedia version was probably chosen because it is more pleasing to modern eyes used to viewing bright acrylics. Because I'm very familiar with Monet's work, I know he was rather fond of that pale rusty red and sea green combination, so personally I would probably choose to work in those colours.
These are some of the things you learn in my PAINT A MASTERPIECE class. Next class November 1st. Contact me for my fall schedule.
TIP:- When attempting to view or paint a masterpiece, try and get as close to the source as possible. 

REF Regatta at Argenteuil