I love France. I love her art, food, language, and way of life. Many years ago, my husband and I spent two happy weeks in France; on the last day of our trip, we went to the Louvre Museum in Paris as a way of saying "au revoir" to this fabulous country. It was the middle of March--the college spring break time in America. We should have guessed. The museum was mobbed; the long line outside was nothing compared to the crowd in the packed room where "Mona Lisa"--the most famous painting in the world--was housed. Our eyes were blinded by the hundreds of camera flashes going off simultaneously.
Dazed, we wandered around the huge museum, until we happened upon this artist, busily copying Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres's "La Grande Odalisque." I am not a big fan of the genre of odalisques, which seems to have titillated generations of male painters and their patrons. However, the concept and design of the reference photo had always intrigued me and, several years later, I got around to painting "At the Louvre."
You could say that I used a minimalist approach in this painting, with just a bare minimum information to get across the message. I even had the audacity to leave the shape of the odalisque in the copyist's version totally untouched as pure white paper. By the way, this is a good way of learning to paint--copying Old Masters' works at museums. The painting was juried into the Art league show in Alexandria, VA in 2005, and received an award in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Watercolor Exhibition by the Baltimore Watercolor Society in 2006.