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RfC: Are the galleries in the Monet article excessive?
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.
I'm here because a close was requested at WP:ANRFC. It seems to me that there is no clear consensus on the volume of images or galleries in this article. Based on the votes alone, excluding those that gave no substantial rationale, the consensus might swing marginally in favour of those advocating some sort of cap on the use of images. Reading the discussion, though, and it is clear that opinions are divided and sensible arguments are put forward on both sides. Several participants advocate for greater use of captions or other text to place the images in context. I would suggest that pursuing this line of discussion would be very sensible. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 17:15, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
Should there be so many images in the image galleries? Curly Turkey (gobble) 08:48, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Keep the article is fine as is but still open to improvement... -- Clem Rutter (talk) 13:22, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Remove Per WP:IGHowever, Wikipedia is not an image repository. A gallery is not a tool to shoehorn images into an article, and a gallery consisting of an indiscriminate collection of images of the article subject should generally either be improved in accordance with the above paragraph or moved to Wikimedia Commons. Links to the Commons categories can be added to the Wikipedia article using the Commons, Commons-inline, or Commons category templates. One rule of thumb to consider: if, due to its content, such a gallery would only lend itself to a title along the lines of "Gallery" or "Images of [insert article title]", as opposed to a more descriptive title, the gallery should either be revamped or moved to the Commons. --MASEM (t) 15:41, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Keep but add further commentary in captions to explain the selection - the first one has this but others don't. The names of the museums are not needed; that's all on the image files if people want to know. Also trim a few to keep to full rows of 4; 2 rows is usually enough, though 3 rows is justified for the series, where pairs are necessary. Johnbod (talk) 20:59, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Reduce it does seem like a lot. Is there a way to give it a separate page, sort of like what is done for long bibliographies of writers? Or perhaps the images could all be re-edited into one large image. The reader can then click on it for a higher resolution and larger view of all the paintings together.--Biophily (talk) 00:14, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
Cap We don't want vast parking lots of thumbnails to dwarf the median strips of text. The current edit is about right, although I think we can afford to trim one image from the 1858-1870 section, which would tighten the space. The recommended limits on gallery size are flexible; WP:IG says "See 1750–75 in Western fashion for an example of a good use of galleries". That article features 34 jpgs in galleries (42 jpgs overall); Monet features 53 in galleries (61 images overall) which have been selected with discernment and are appropriately labeled. While it is true that visual artists' biographies that have been promoted to FA do not have this many images—El Greco has16 images in-text and no gallery at all; Caspar David Friedrich has 13 in-text and 8 in the gallery; Paul Kane has 17 and no gallery—Monet may be an exceptional case, not just because of his importance but for his habit of working in series, which requires displaying multiples. Ewulp (talk) 00:41, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Weak Remove Though it is helpful to see all the works of art, it is not necessary to include on Claude Monet's personal page. Like other users have stated, it is an encyclopedia not a gallery. Let's try cutting the images out and leave a significant amount less. Perhaps we can include one or two paintings from each time period or each style instead of having 6-16 images for each section. Not every image on the page is necessary and to be honest it is visually unappealing and overwhelming to the reader. Meatsgains (talk) 20:58, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Cap I agree with Ewulp. After visiting the Monet page I did not feel overwhelmed by the pictures included in the biography. If more were to be added I could definitely see how an issue of "vast parking lots of thumbnails" might be an issue. At the end of the day, Monet is a painter, and his paintings are his life work. Sometimes an image can explain far more about a persons life than the words written down by a handful of wikipedia editors. Perhaps we set cap it at 50 or 60 images, based on how many are currently on the page right now? Comatmebro~Come at me~ 02:38, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
Reduce, at least a little My general thought is to say "they are a painter, so it would be useful content to include lots of their paintings. But by "lots" I tend to think 20 or 30 selected paintings. But the article currently has 61 of his paintings; 56 in galleries and 7 separately. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 18:46, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
Keep but hide This is an important person in the history of painting, in the sense that his work was significantly influential. The work, therefore, merits extensive presentation. In order to reduce the total size of the article, we could hide some images behind a "bannershell," allowing those interested in seeing them in full to do so by clicking on the banner.-The Gnome (talk) 09:19, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Remove or keep but hide, and add them back in when/if the article gets longer. --I dream of horses (T) @ 01:05, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
Keep if captions like those in the first gallery (or of greater length) can be added to the others. My interpretation of WP:IG is that a gallery of any size is theoretically acceptable so long as each image has a caption that explains its relevance to the subjects of the article and the gallery. If no such caption can be written for a certain image then that image ought to be removed. – Arms & Hearts (talk) 04:35, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
Keep, I like the unusual shape of this article. It is very nice and gives our reader a good information about the stylistic development of this famous painter and about his work. --Vejvančický (talk / contribs) 11:41, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Keep. This is exactly the sort of thing I want to see when reading about the entire career of one of the world's most famous artists. — Scott•talk 12:18, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
Please think of the audience—the images overwhelm the article. The repeated ones (especially Water Lilies—thirteen images from that series alone!) are best dealt with by picking a single image or pair, and then linking to their own article, in which they are dealt with in comprehensive detail. Not every major painting needs an image—not even every painting that has its own article. In the case of many, simply linking in the text is more than sufficient. Curly Turkey (gobble) 08:48, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
"As part of his extensive gardening plans at Giverny, Monet had a pond dug and planted with lilies in 1893. He painted the subject in 1899, and thereafter it dominated his art. He worked continuously for more than twenty years on a large-scale decorative series, attempting to capture every observation, impression, and reflection of the flowers and water. By the mid-1910s, Monet had achieved a completely new, fluid, and somewhat audacious style of painting in which the water-lily pond became the point of departure for an almost abstract art." (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
This passage from the Met exemplifies the importance of the Water Lilies series in the history of art. Monet’s Water Lilies series contained around 250 paintings. It is hardly excessive to show a dozen of them here. The article is just fine with the images now included. Keep. Coldcreation (talk) 09:44, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
So you quote the museum, show the reader a couple of Water Lilies, and then point them to Water Lilies, as you would in any other well constructed article. Curly Turkey (gobble) 10:48, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes the paintings need to be shown, this is an article about Claude Monet and his paintings. The paintings need to be seen by our readers...Modernist (talk) 12:08, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Seventy-five paintings, and no less? Please explain to everyone why anything less than a sprawling virtual catalogue of the man's work is strictly required to be contained in a single article, especially when there are twenty-four more specific subarticles devoted to these pieces. Curly Turkey (gobble) 12:54, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
His work spanned 2 centuries - mid-19th century revolutionary paintings that changed our perception of the art of painting; then again in the late 19th century with his innovative series paintings and then again with his paintings from the 20th century especially the late work from the 1920s - that remained misunderstood and neglected until the advent of Abstract Expressionism in the 1950s and 1960s. He is one of the most important painters of his era and remains one of the most important painters today. His paintings need to be seen to be appreciated.
"He's important, that's why" is exactly the sort of argument that page discourages. You haven't explained, for example, why there must be no less than four Etretat images, beyond the IDONTLIKEIT-y "because he's important". Curly Turkey (gobble) 13:34, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Interesting - In my opinion we certainly can do away with 3 of those images - however since Amandajam added all 4 I left them alone out of respect for her. Shall I take 3 out?..Modernist (talk) 13:37, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Given it's the "series" section, I'd leave two to demonstrate it's a series. Though I think there are far more series there than neccessary to make the point. Curly Turkey (gobble) 13:45, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Three of us agree on this. Are there other suggestions for specific cuts? Ewulp (talk)
There are the Water Lilies, which has a section all its own at the end that started as three images, then ballooned to four, and now six. That makes for thirteen images of Water Lilies, when there's a Water Lilies article to point to.
There are also three of the Gare Saint-Lazare. Curly Turkey (gobble) 20:34, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
There are articles that are bigger than the usual linear format given in WP. This is one; the need of images to illustrate specific points justifies a deviation from the WP norm. The choice of some of the images used should be encouraged. I have a problem, that Monet the person and Monet the media related myth are not the same. L S Lowry has the same problem with the matchstick men myth., if a general reader who has probably visited the Quai d'Orsay or the National comes to this page what do we need to have so they can learn more? We have to lead the reader to threads that make him notable- which are here complex. Explaining the relevance of these threads, in this case requires a lot of visual material. The naive reader with think he painted one canvas of waterlilies. How do we fairly repesent all the sources that treat different aspects he investigated through the medium of waterlilies. The text we have at the moment seems to be a little dry and lacks references to a century of criticism and M's influences on future movements, and analysis from other natioanl views. This is an fluid article- and will never be finished, at this moment in time a heavy use of images does seem right. -- Clem Rutter (talk) 13:57, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Galleries of free images of this quantity is exactly what Commons is for. Selected inline images are fine, but otherwise this violates WP:IG and WP:SIZE concerns in terms of net content delivered to the end user. --MASEM (t) 15:44, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Clearly, per that these are ok. Johnbod (talk) 20:59, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
No they aren't. They are still image repositories: "Here's Monet's works, without commentary - Enjoy!". Yes, they are broken into various periods/series but that's still effectively the same thing. We are an encyclopedia, summarizing the topic, not fully documenting it, and while all of Monet's works are free and certainly possible to display here, that's what Commons is for. By including so many images, you make the page difficult and/or inaccessible to those on low-end connectivity/computers, which is also why it is a size issue. --MASEM (t) 22:00, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
In fact they are fine; encyclopedic; informative; educational and valuable...Modernist (talk) 22:11, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
They are clearly selected, and not the "indiscriminate collection of images of the article subject" which the policy discourages, and which the maze of Commons sub-cats represent. Have you ever looked at Monet on Commons? A nightmare if you want a general idea. He was an important and prolific artist who remains extremely popular, because people like his pictures. Johnbod (talk) 23:03, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
@Johnbod: here's some context: this is what the article looked like when this whole kerfuffle first kerfuffled—two super-galleries, the first with 28 images, the second with 40, inaddition to the dozen or so images sprinkled throughout—include several sandwiched along the side of the galleries. While this certianly could use a lot of work, I think you'd probably agree that it's a huge improvement, no? Curly Turkey (gobble) 00:39, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
This approach is putting too much emphasis on the idea that "let the reader figure out for themselves why something should be appreciated". We're an encyclopedia and meant to get to the point with sourced material, as to summarize the topic and provide pointers to reference material elsewhere. We are not an art appreciation textbook, which this becomes when you use many images in one or more galleries - as there's no associated text to help provide context. I would say if we're talking 4-10 additional gallery images in addition to those in the prose already, as examples, that's reasonable, given that a link to Commons and other reference sites provide the rest. If the Commons categories are a mess, fix them; there's nothing preventing better organization there, particularly if its tied to this article's struct (eg categories for his various series). Compare this to musical artists where yes, the use of sound samples is appropriate to showcase the work, but even on the most prolific composers only have a limited number of samples on the pages, delegating more sound samples when talking about more specific works or series of works. The same can be done here to avoid this here. --MASEM (t) 00:13, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
To add one more thing: WP:NOTGALLERY: "Photographs or media files with no text to go with the articles. If you are interested in presenting a picture, please provide an encyclopedic context, or consider adding it to Wikimedia Commons."; the galleries have very weak context (I respect that some editorial discretion has been made) and really this is what Commons' purpose is for. --MASEM (t) 03:51, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
A point that Modernist has been trying to make but hasn't articulated well is one of the keys things about Monet—that he went, very, very gradually, from a style like this to this over the course of about half a century—Monet's development was not one of sudden breaks, and it is important to show how gradual that development was. I do think that in and of itself is more than enough textual context (assuming the text were fully fleshed out and well written) to provide a large number of images, some of which may not be mentioned specifically in the text. The disagreement is more on just how granular this development should be shown. I personally think it went well beyond what was necessary, to the point that it obscured the article, rather than enlightening it.
I also think it would be much easier to decide what an appropriate balance of images would be if the text were in a much more finished state. It's disappointing that the article on Monet, of all artists, is so underdeveloped. He's one of the major stopping points in even a high school art course (at least, in my high school), one of those artists that doesn't just get mentioned in passing, but gets dwelled upon. Curly Turkey (gobble) 04:15, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
The granularity argument is fair, but still, again, to what level the granulatity should be taken to - and to that end how many images - should be based on that we are an encyclopedia and not a textbook. Monet clearly had well-defined periods in his life, and so highlighting a few examples from each makes sense. And a description about the granularity of his style changes would necessitate a gallery following discussion of this, since this appears to be something easily sourced. We just don't need to outline every granular change in his style - a few key points, and a example of one such change is enough for the encyclopedia reader to understand, and references present will help anyone that needs more information to be able to find it. --MASEM (t) 06:21, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
I suggest moving the left-aligned images to the galleries. They're skewing the text more than anything. Also, resize the right-aligned images to a smaller size. If you're actually trying to read the text, it's difficult to do on an iPhone. I'm not sure about other mobile devices. We might try adding more text. In some cases, the galleries look twice as large as the accompanying bodies of text. Bms4880 (talk) 18:44, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Response to some of the comments.
User:Johnbod, Bms4880, please take a look at my last edit, before the reinstatement and rearrangement of the images by Modernist and Coldcreation.
There were about 40 images. Previous to that, there were 75. I think 40 really is quite enough to demonstrate Monet's diversity, and development. This is not about removing all the galleries. This is really a lot more petty than that.
Images that pertained to biography were in the text. That included the very dark vertical image of Camille, which is mentioned in the text and is important biographically. (now in a gallery)
The intext images were all uprights, to avoid the sandwiching problem. I sympathise with Bms4880 over the mobile phone problem, but vertical images don't look good in the galleries; and left/right placement is standard. They need to be kept small. Mrs Monet needs to face inwards, as per MOS, and as per arranging pics so they look good. I think that the tiny screen of mobile phones can only be taken into account up to a point.
I have avoided using any pictures where the reproduction is of very low quality. (A side issue is that some of the uploads are ridiculous as they are very high resolution images of prints from books. When you look at them in high res, what you see is all the little dots on the printed page, and no detail of the painting whatsoever.)
My recent changes have included organising the text as well as the images. The problems were many.
I have added a new section, and now, having found my large book, I will check and probably expand the text.
With regards to giving the locations of the paintings, it is not necessary in instances where the artist's work is being used for illustratory purposes, e.g. in an article on Argenteuil that includes a painting of the subject by Monet, but it is usual, when the focus of the article is the artists and his works. I would prefer to include the names of the galleries, just as they would be included in a book on the subject.