Learning at the Louvre, etc.

Gallery Guide:


“It is in the museum that one learns to paint.”    Renoir


“…the majority of the world’s greatest museums (the Prado in Madrid, the Louve in Paris, and the National gallery in London, for example) were founded for the express purpose of providing artist with the means to learn from the great masters. Today art educators tend to smile at this approach, and yet the study of the old masters is still the easiest and most profitable way to train a painters eye and hand.” Lester Cooke (1916-1973) - Former Curator, National  Gallery  of Art


Underpainting for Allegory of Wealth

Arrowood after Vouet

Oil on Canvas 44" x 32"


Underpainting: An accurate value rendition of a subject. Often the old masters created underpaintings in brown, gray-green, or gray. A well-rendered underpainting separates the problems of form from those of color. The application of transparent color glazes will not conceal the faults of a poorly executed underpainting…The application of opaque color is facilitated by a good underpainting. 

My underpainting was prepared as a grisaille (gray values); however, while working before the original at the Louvre, it appeared as though Vouet may have used a reddish brown like burnt sienna under much of the original. French painters often used a grisaille while many of the Italian painters preferred verdaccio (greenish) underpaintings.


At the Louvre

October 2004

“ I realize that it is not a momentous event in a universe where man has left footprints in the moon dust, but I am awed that my personal boundaries now include a few moments painting before a Master’s work in the world’s most famous museum ...I will be forever grateful for such an opportunity.”                           (Journal entry October2004)


Allegory of Wealth

 Arrowood after Simon Vouet 2004

Oil on Canvas 44" x 32"

Exhibited October 5th-28th, 2005

2nd Salon des Copistes du Louvre

La Mairie du 6th, Paris, France



Underpainting for The Sleeping Hermit

Arrowood after Vien

Oil on Canvas 32" x 22"


L'ermite Endormi-The Sleeping Hermit -Arrowood after Vien Painted at the Louvre 2005

L'ermite Endormi

"The Sleeping Hermit"
Arrowood After Vien 2005

Oil on Canvas 32" x 22"

At the Louvre

October 3rd - 28th, 2005


Painting in Bergamo, Italy

The Accademia Carrara

Sister City Exchange 2005


Death of Atala Arrowood after Giovanni Batista Riva Bergamo Italy Accademi Cararra

The Death of Atala

  Arrowood 2005/6 after Giovanni Battista Riva 1859

Oil on Canvas  40" x 34"

Open for Bids

$25,000 Reserve

Total to be donated by the artist through Greenville Sister Cities

to the Accademia Carrara in Bergamo Italy and a Greenville Museum

The original painting of Giovanni Battista Riva's Morte di Atala in 1859 was most likely inspired by the 1813 portrayal of The Burial of Atala by French artist Girodet.


Girodet, himself, was inspired by the 1801 novel, Atala, or The Loves of Two Savages in the Desert by François-René de Chateaubriand. Set in 18th-century Louisiana, this American Indian tragedy is the tale of a Christian half-Indian maiden, Atala, who frees the Indian brave Chactas from his enemies (her family) and finds refuge from a storm with him in the cave of the religious hermit, Father Aubry. Having made a vow to her dying mother to consecrate herself to God, Atala takes poison, believing that her growing love for Chactas will make her vow impossible to keep. It is the quiet sadness of Atala's lifeless form and Chactas' sorrow that imbue Battista Riva's painting with its tragic beauty.


 Detail from "The Death of Atala"

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