About Copying Masterful Paintings in the Louvre Museum

Louvre Museum Tours

Copying Masterful Paintings

When on a Louvre guided tour, you may have seen the copyists trying to imitate the original masterpiece paintings on display with a photographer close by. The Louvre invites copyists to the Louvre galleries, set up their easels provided free of cost by the museum and try to imitate the masterpieces on canvas.

Even as the museum hours start from the morning and close late, there are stipulated time slots for copyists to commence their work in the Louvre on all days except on Sundays and National Holidays. Many artists have tried copying Louvre paintings and the names include eminent painters such as Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí.

Go on Louvre museum tours to see the original works – some alien and some homegrown paintings. Recently, self-taught artists have taken on the challenge of copying “View of Pirna from the Sonnenstein Castle,” by Bernardo Bellotto and “Portrait of a Man Holding a Statuette,” by Agnolo Bronzino the Italian artists.

The challenges become somewhat complex, as the eye of a photographer will capture the moment for publishing the rendition on a fashion magazine or an arts-related editorial. Since Louvre’s interior architecture is enchanting on its own, the photographer will have distractions; this is why they will avoid excess flash and concentrate on the given task.

You may know the Louvre was opened as a public museum in Paris by the French revolutionary government in November 1793. The copying tradition has been a permanent fixture in the Louvre since its opening. To safeguard against forgery, Isabelle Vieilleville, Director of Mediation and Cultural Programming, will ensure that the copyist’s canvas is either smaller or larger than the original canvas at the start. In addition, the director will also make sure that the artist’s signature is not forged on the copied work and will stamp an official seal alongside her signature as a proof.

Although the Louvre provides the privilege for free, copyists may have to wait to earn their right to copy some of the masterful paintings of all times in the museum. The goal of a copyist is to learn the secrets of color, composition, and the technique on display, over time by copying the works of masterful painters.