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Another perspective

Another perspective

Albert Brenet painted this picture of the France just before her launch, and he painted her 'in situ.' There are photographs takren of him in the act of producing this painting. The sheet of paper he painted her on was much bigger than your screen, and it certainly would not be the right perspective

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Stunning
 

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Many people have said that this painting is a copy of a photo. Well, there are many photographs of the launch of the FRANCE but the beauty here is that Brenet was there and did the painting on the spot! That is the genius of his work.

1996.. Found an exhibition in le Havre... all Brenet. Many of his famous paintings. I did not have any francs and they would not take of mine.... dollars and pounds. The gallery was closing and I ran a few hundred yards to find a bank and the back to the gallery. They were closing... allowed just twenty minutes. I had to get back to my ship. What day that was... arrived in Le Havre in the NORWAY.... her first visit since was the FRANCE.
 

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Here he is painting it: http://www.frenchlines.com/images/image_fr.php?image=5308

Of course making a few disappearing lines, from under the bridge wings and the hawsepipes etcetera, would prove it was not a tracing of a photograph.
 

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A wonderful painting indeed, though I see no reason or proof for its not being helped by photographs. If he brought the picture to the degree of completion shown here entirely 'on location', ie with no studio working, I'm a Dutchman ("Goedenavond dames en heren!"). I also wonder whether he'd have left the top of the bow out if he hadn't been working from photos that didn't include it (insufficiently wide-angle lenses).
Zooming this image out and in doesn't affect the perspective - which also looks fine in the postage-stamp-sized thumbnail underneath - and drawing lines proves nothing regarding the use of photos, as far as I can see. The point for me is that nothing jars; the whole picture is convincing; one feels no need to reach for the ruler to check whether something that looks wrong is wrong.
Regards to all.
PS By contrast, you can still see the wonky bow on the grey ship in the thumbnail on the right.
 

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He did a very good job of reproducing the perspective of a wide angle lens on the hull. Not so much on the rendering of the ground, but the overall effect works very well.
 

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For what it's worth I am happy to believe this was painted "live" and without the help of photographs. It seems to me that he set out to capture a sense of the enormous size and presence of this ship and used some tricks to help achieve it. The ship extends beyond the frame of the painting and the people and objects have been reduced in size but not in a way that makes it look like something is wrong. Why limit yourself to photographs when you can paint like this? You can see these devices being used to great effect in many of the posters that are posted here and this is what happens when they are placed in the hands of a genius.

Bill
 

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I too am happy to believe Brenet didn't use photos Bill. And equally happy to believe he did. In the absence of convincing evidence either way, I just don't care. On the matter of reducing the size of the people to enhance the size and presence of the ship you may be right, but not by much. I couldn't find a figure for the height of France's stem, not that I searched all that hard, but profiles of the ship suggest her prow height was about one-eighth of her length, or some 40 metres. The nearest, naval-looking guy on the dais seems much taller than the others; let's assume he's 2 metres tall with hat and shoes. So his height should go into France's prow height some 20 times. Of course, the man is a little further away than the nearest point on the ship, which is at waterline level, but then, by definition, so is most of the ship. In fact, the man's height goes into the prow height (as far as I can calculate where its peak actually is) about 27 times. Not that far off.
If all this simply enhances my image as an obsessive-compulsive, nitpicking old curmudgeon who needs to get out more - what the hell? It's Saturday night! I'll say it again: I don't care!
 

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