Karen F Rose My Painting Journey

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Want to Be a Copyist in the Louvre?

Sketching in the Louvre
Photo © 2010 Karen F. Rose

Copyist in the Louvre
photo © 2010 Karen F. Rose

Copyist in the Louvre

photo © 2010 Karen F. Rose
Mary Cassatt visited the Louvre in Paris, the most famous art museum in the world,  to study and copy the masters. Renoir, Henri Matisse, Degas and countless other artists were copyists at the Louvre. Examining the brushwork, composition, color and lost and found edges of paintings by master painters is part of the copyist tradition.  
In the Louvre, you are allowed to bring your own small sketchbook and draw to your hearts content. 
If you wish to paint one the masterpieces, you must apply for a copyist permit. The Louvre will supply the easel, and your seat. You supply the canvas, oil paint, determination, talent and concentration.
Just think of the concentration required. If you've ever painted in front a small group of people, imagine painting in front of several thousand museum visitors.
There are a few stipulations about your painting, your canvas cannot be the same size as the original work of art and you are not allowed to copy the original artist's signature.
Is there a copyist program at an art museum near you?
If you could, what artist's work of art would you try to copy?


Susan Roux said...

I'd love to study a Monet with paint in my hands. I know I could never capture it, but it would be the better record of his color combinations than what photographs show.

Diane Hoeptner (hep-ner) said...

Fascinating read! I could never keep my focus with strangers peeking over my shoulder--but SO admire those brave souls who can!!

Maria Bennett Hock said...

I have been copying at the National Gallery of Art in DC...it is an amazing experience. Concentration is required and interruptions are frequent as many visitors want to know why you are there. i would LOVE to paint at the Louvre! But right now I am happy with the NGA!