Talk:Frédéric Chopin

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RfC: Chopin's nationality[edit]

Clear majority voted for Option A, by a wide margin as seen below. GRUcrule (talk) 19:52, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Should we mention Chopin's nationality as Polish or Polish-French? A debate on this has been simmering on for sometime now.

Here are some of the discussions pertaining to this issue

As consensus has and will always change, here are some solutions which are being considered for proposal:

  • Solution A - Describe Chopin as Polish in the lead
  • Solution B - Describe Chopin as Polish-French in the lead
  • Solution C - Describe Chopin as Polish and French in the lead
  • Solution D - Describe Chopin as Polish, French-naturalized in the lead
  • Solution E - Do not describe his nationality in the lead. Discuss it in the body of the article.

Please weigh-in, indicating the solution(s) you support using the example format below. Include a brief explanation of your rationale. Or, alternatively, if you have some idea which hasn't previously been put forward, please let us know!

Example format

  • Support A - He is clearly a Polish. - Example 1 (talk) 00:00, 14 November 2257 (UTC)
  • Support C - He is of Polish and French Nationality - Example 2 (talk) 00:00, 14 November 2257 (UTC)
  • Support E - It is too tough of an issue to deal with. Let's not mention it. - Example 3 (talk) 00:00, 14 November 2257 (UTC)

Thanks everyone for the suggestions/comments/opinions in advance!

Please note that this RfC should not be construed as a vote rather than an attempt to measure consensus. As always let's keep the conversations at a civilized level and focus completely on content, not contributors or their motives.


How many times do I have to refer you to WP:GHITS and WP:NPOV? It's a factor of much less than 10, because (And I've pointed this out to you repeatedly) adding words greatly decreases the number of Google search results. 2AwwsomeTell me where I screwed up. See where I screwed up 14:04, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Support D to indicate that he composed and achieved fame while living in France. Also, all that discussion about his nationality and how he always considered himself Polish should be moved from the first paragraph of the lead into a later paragraph. The first paragraph should be about why he is notable, it should be concerned with his music and his work. FurrySings (talk) 12:35, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Support A- Chopin was a Pole who lived in France as an exile. I do not edit on this page but have a interest in and love classical music. --Woogie10w (talk) 13:00, 13 November 2013 (UTC)Also Paul Hindemith was a German composer and Arnold Schoenberg an Austrian even though both became American citizens. We would never refer to them as Americans--Woogie10w (talk) 19:44, 13 November 2013 (UTC)


  • A. Did Chopin ever consider himself French? Don't people get to say who they are anymore? Ravpapa (talk) 14:11, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Much as I disagree with some of the POV-pushing here, primary sources usually should not be used for determining nationality. Toccata quarta (talk) 14:44, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
The POV you and the other members of your tag team are pushing is nationalist propaganda, the POV I am 'pushing' is neutral. Read policies before making hypocritical personal attacks. 2AwwsomeTell me where I screwed up. See where I screwed up 18:35, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
  1. I'm not Polish, nor am I aware of having Polish ancestors.
  2. "You are engaging in POV-pushing" is not a personal attack; "you are a(n) [expletive]" is. Toccata quarta (talk) 18:41, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Where did I say that? 2AwwsomeTell me where I screwed up. See where I screwed up 18:43, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Say what? You accused me of "pushing ... nationalist propaganda", and you deemed "POV-pushing"—a concept to which you have also referred—a personal attack. Toccata quarta (talk) 18:47, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Just because I prefer a neutral POV to your completely biased one, it doesn't mean I'm a POV pusher. And where did I say "you are a(n) [expletive]"? 2AwwsomeTell me where I screwed up. See where I screwed up 18:52, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
You didn't say that; after all, I never accused you of making a personal attack. Toccata quarta (talk) 19:32, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Support A - mainly because I'm in agreement with Toccata quarta in regards to how reliable sources state him. Plus, I believe this column from the La Jolla Music Society is an informative read on the very topic. GRUcrule (talk) 16:10, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Support A- as per Dale Tucker (1998). Frederic Chopin. Alfred Music Publishing. p. 5. ISBN 978-1-4574-0134-3.  - though French should be mentioned in the article as it is now - all is fine -- Moxy (talk) 18:39, 13 November 2013 (UTC)#
It isn't mentioned, because it was removed and then the page was protected to the wrong version 2AwwsomeTell me where I screwed up. See where I screwed up 19:17, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Current version says in the lead "Although Chopin's father was a Polonized Frenchman and Chopin himself was exiled in France from the age of 20 until his death, the composer always regarded himself as a Pole rather than a Frenchman" then outside the lead in the first section we say "Chopin's father, Nicolas Chopin, was a Frenchman from Lorraine who had emigrated to Poland in 1787 at the age of sixteen" - thus we can all imply hes of French heritage because of his fathers. This is how most bio confront the situation as we do here - V. K. Subramanian (2004). The Great Ones. Abhinav Publications. p. 225. ISBN 978-81-7017-421-9. . -- Moxy (talk) 19:34, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
By 'most bios' are you referring to the number of Google hits or the sources provided (which is 5 v 4)? And the article mentions that he was not French. 2AwwsomeTell me where I screwed up. See where I screwed up 19:38, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
General statement - out of all the "book sources" (dont care about Google hits of non scholarly websites or news papers) I can find only one small bio that mentions both Polish-French at William J. Roberts (2004). France: A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present. Infobase Publishing. p. 214. ISBN 978-0-8160-4473-3.  -- Moxy (talk) 19:57, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
But did you search for Polish-French? And are you sure Encyclopedia Britannica is non-scholarly? 2AwwsomeTell me where I screwed up. See where I screwed up 20:00, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
We are only here to regurgitate what the majority of sources say and in the manner they say it. We have lots of space here thus we have more then enough room to explain the situation and not just a small bio trying to jam all in a few paragraphs. We have done this in the article pretty well I think (first time here today). Even non scholarly articles like this new paper confront the situation. So from what I am reading all over they refer to his "nationally" as Polish and in the same breath say he was "ethnically" half-French. -- Moxy (talk) 20:14, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
And by 'majority' do you mean 5 vs 4? Or are you talking about 5 vs 0 because the 4 supporting the fact that he was Polish-French removed by a biased POV pusher? 2AwwsomeTell me where I screwed up. See where I screwed up 20:22, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes Britannica and the book France : a reference guide from the Renaissance to the present say this - in the case of Britannica they are trying to get you to read on with a subscription....thus both are very small bios trying to say a lot in a confined space. The book Jacqueline Dineen (1998). Frederic Chopin. Lerner Publications. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-57505-248-9.  does not say this in the copy I can read. - as in his "nationality" was French. As for Northern light : the Skagen painter I cant see it but why a panting book as a source? So from what I can see in the majority of source that I have found today that cover the topic in-depth say his "nationally" is Polish with a French background - as we explain in this article. I see no problem in expanding the section "Nationality" but to add this contentions point in the lead as if it was fact without explanation as we do later is not serving our readers well. -- Moxy (talk) 22:24, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Given that last point you should change it to Support E. 2AwwsomeTell me where I screwed up.See where I screwed up. 12:07, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Support E. Came here via RFC, so not involved. I like the way NPR cut the cake. It is ok to not put the nationality of people front and center and then give full details late. Say he was Polish-Born in the lead, then have the nationality section down below really go into it. That is informative while not distracting from the guy's works and life. I know the issue is important, but I think being broad in the lead and having a good nationality section could make for a much improved article. Best of luck. AbstractIllusions (talk) 07:32, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Support A. Where Encyclopaedia Britannica is concerned, Moxy has exposed the heart of the matter. On the subject of Chopin, E.B. is sloppy and perfunctory and cannot be a guide to the much more precise and comprehensive Wikipedia. Nihil novi (talk) 15:15, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Sources are not unreliable just because they oppose your view. And Wikipedia is not a reliable source, see WP:NOTRS. 2AwwsomeTell me where I screwed up. See where I screwed up 16:35, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Encyclopaedia Britannica's expression, "Polish-French", is sloppy. What on earth does it mean?
Does it refer to a given individual's birthplace, ethnicity, sense of national identity, or citizenship, or to some combination of these?
Or does the expression refer to these characteristics in relation to the individual's parents?
Perhaps a mathematician could calculate for us the doubtless large number of possible combinations of characteristics that can lurk behind the vague expression, "Polish-French"? Nihil novi (talk) 10:30, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
The expression "Polish" is even more vague. It could refer to all of those, plus the fact that they polish things. 2AwwsomeTell me where I screwed up.See where I screwed up. 12:07, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Support A, or (less-preferred, because not really relevant in the lead, but acceptable) D. At the time when I was active editing WP, (and was hoping to bring this article up to GA quality) I gave a lot of thought to this issue. All reliable musical dictionaries, critics and biographers regard Chopin as Polish. And he regarded himself as Polish. There is no problem providing citations for all this. The fact that he took French nationality (which was a convenience for him) made him legally French, I suppose, but this is trivial in the context of his music, which did not draw on French sources, as I hope the maturing article will point out when it starts being edited properly once again. I don't see in Wikipedia, e.g., Winston Churchill being described as American , even though his mother was an American and he himself received honorary American citizenship. Incidentally the cluster of notes in the first two sentences of the lead section should surely be removed, according to WP:MOS. The right place to explain in cited detail about squabbles of this sort is in the text, not the lead. I also believe the second sentence of the lead belongs in the body of the article as being WP:UNDUE in this section; later in the lead in the second paragraph Chopin's residence in France is quite adequately described, and the 'after age of 20' doesn't need to be anticipated in the first paragraph. Best, --Smerus (talk) 18:03, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Agree completely with Smerus. The sentence "Although Chopin's father was a Polonized Frenchman and Chopin himself was exiled in France from the age of 20 until his death, the composer always regarded himself as a Pole rather than a Frenchman." should be removed from the lead altogether - all this polemic over his nationality is not nearly as important as his impact on piano technique and composition, as well as his importance in the emerging "star" culture surrounding great solo performers (especially pianists) - points which, in fact, are undercovered in the article itself. Ravpapa (talk) 18:15, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Support A This entire controversy is absurd. Trilobitealive (talk) 02:29, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Further my post supporting A: From Moritz Karasowski, Frederic Chopin: His Life and Letters (1906), volume II, page 368: "When [Chopin's] remains were lowered into the grave, Polish earth was scattered on the coffin. It was the same that Chopin had brought from the village of Wola nineteen years before as a memorial of his beloved fatherland, and shortly before his death had requested that if he might not rest in Polish soil his body might at least be covered with his native earth. Chopin's heart, which had beaten so warmly, and suffered so deeply for his country was, according to his desire, sent to the land whose sun had shone on his happy youth; it is preserved ad interim in the Church of the Sacred Cross at Warsaw."
Can we not let this poor piano-playing Pole (to paraphrase Paderewski) rest in peace?
I move to close this RFP. Ravpapa (talk) 13:19, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
As the sole Arthropod-American Wikipedia editor, I strongly second the motion. This whole thing is an example of what happens when you have a strongly POV minority trying to change articles. Trilobitealive (talk) 16:41, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
Don't you mean the NPOV minority? Anyway, WP:RS and WP:NPOV are core content policies, which cannot be superseded by consensus. So this means nothing. 2AwwsomeTell me where I screwed up. See where I screwed up 16:47, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
That's not how it works. Volunteer Marek  17:00, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes it is. Let me quote:

"...not superseded by other policies or guidelines, or by editors' consensus. 2AwwsomeTell me where I screwed up. See where I screwed up 17:07, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Keep telling yourself that. Volunteer Marek  17:19, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
Keep telling me that 2AwwsomeTell me where I screwed up.See where I screwed up. 12:07, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
  • "Polish-born" in lead: This source uses this wording which seems to side-step the issue nicely. The French aspect shouldn't be suppressed as we do have sources (1 2) that describe him so. We might also need to mention that the nationality issue is a touchy topic in Poland (source). Cheers, --Dailycare (talk) 14:45, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Support E, "Polish-born" in lead - Per User:AbstractIllusions,Dailycare; Always a good idea to shy away from definitively asserting that "Person X is of some given nationality" when there is even the smallest ambiguity on the matter. WP shouldn't be deciding what someone's proper nationality is. Using "Polish-born" strikes me as a nice way to reflect the fact that most sources do refer to him as Polish, while not positively asserting that he is either Polish or French. NickCT (talk) 16:06, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Dailycare and NickCT: I don't know how familiar you are with Chopin's biography, but your comments are not addressing a very important point: that Chopin was not merely Polish, he was emphatically Polish. He never identified himself as French, on the contrary, he always saw himself as an exile. His letters, his music, all his documented comments, from the day of his departure from Poland to his burial, all cry out his love and yearning for his native land. All the sources agree about this, even the two which in their leads refer to him as "Polish French". To call him anything other than Polish is not merely to distort the sources, but to do him a profound injustice. Ravpapa (talk) 17:24, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
@Ravpapa - Self identification is important. But it's not a be all and end all. And I agree, from my uninformed POV Chopin certainly does look "mostly or almost entirely Polish". That said, I think anyone who'd argue that Chopin was at least in some part French by virtue of his father and the fact that he spent half his life in France, would be making a reasonable point. Why not leave his nationality vague in the lead, but reflect the majority of sources and his own identification by calling him "Polish-born"? I don't see the injustice. It would seem we're placing emphasis on his "polishness" while simultaneously saying that his nationality was not definitively Polish. NickCT (talk) 00:42, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
By your reasoning, George Washington should be described only as "British-born", since he spent the first two-thirds of his life (1732–1776) as a British subject. Let's not muddle matters by mentioning that in the latter third of his life he thought of himself as an American!
The fact is that "–born" adjectives are so ambiguous as to be meaningless. I don't know whether one of Wikipedia's goals is meaninglessness. Nihil novi (talk) 04:58, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
How Washington should be described turns exclusively on what sources say about him, not on what editors think about him. There are sources that describe Chopin's nationality in a more nuanced way than merely "Polish", so allowing for them with "Polish-born" seems reasonable to me (and, importantly, since at least one source uses that exact language). We can expand on the subject a bit in the article body, maybe even mentioning that his nationality is a bit of a touchy subject in Poland, at least one source says that. Cheers, --Dailycare (talk) 19:37, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes but the sources which describe Chopin as "Polish born" rather than just "Polish" are in a small minority. So exactly by your logic, you should switch your vote. Volunteer Marek  20:10, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
@Nihil novi - re "should be described only as "British-born"," - Sort of, yeah. I'd oppose saying some like "George Washington was American." in the lead of his article. A reasonable person might dispute that unqualified assertion. NickCT (talk) 02:34, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
I haven't counted sources on this page, but even I now know (having arrived via the RFC) that several sources describe his nationality in a more nuanced way than just "Polish". One source cited above describes him as Polish, but that "the situation is not simple". Saying "Polish-born" in the lead accomodates all the sources that I know, at least, and gives primacy to Polishness in line with what the majority of sources say. --Dailycare (talk) 20:24, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

I make the following compromise proposal (F) for the lead, in view of comments above: "was a Romantic-era Polish composer, who spent most of his mature career in France." I believe that this statement is compatible with all recognised authorities. The detail (e.g. his father, his exile, his passport, etc.) is already covered in the text of the article. --Smerus (talk) 21:18, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Sounds good to me. Cheers, --Dailycare (talk) 21:16, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Me,too Ravpapa (talk) 17:09, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Support F or E. Why on Earth did it take this many kilobytes to find what seems like the most natural way to describe him? Yes, he was born in Poland and apparently considered himself Polish. Yes, he spent most of his life in France. Let's just say that instead of turning it into a civil war or contemplating dreadful constructs like Polish-French, which are anachronistic at best. Sai Weng (talk) 02:00, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

RfC Close[edit]

This RfC has been around for three days now, I'd like to ask that it be closed if it doesn't last for more than a couple of days or so. By my reading, option A seemed to garner the most support, with D coming in second, and C/E coming in last place.

  • Solution A - (12 support)
    • Support: me, Piotrus, Toccata quarta, Volunteer Marek, Woogie10w, Smerus, Moxy, GRUcrule, Nihil novi, Trilobitealive, Ravpapa
    • Weak or qualified support:
  • Solution B - (0 support, 0 weak support)
    • Support:
    • Weak or qualified support:
  • Solution C - (1 support, 0 weak support)
    • Support: 2Awwsome
    • Weak or qualified support:
  • Solution D - (0 support, 1 weak support)
    • Support:
    • Weak or qualified support: Piotrus
  • Solution E - (3 support, 0 weak support)
    • Support: AbstractIllusions, Dailycare, NickCT
    • Weak or qualified support:
  • Solution F - (1 support, 0 weak support)
    • Support: Smerus
    • Weak or qualified support:

Though there seems to be some off-topic arguing between a couple of users, I hope this is a clear consensus that satisfies all parties. There is no hurry, but does anyone have thoughts about this? Lord Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 23:45, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

The default duration of an RfC is 30 days or... if the community's response became obvious very quickly, the RfC participants can agree to end it, it can be formally closed by any uninvolved editor. -- Moxy (talk) 23:47, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I completely understand. I think we should let this run for the full 30 days this RFC was opened (on December 15.) Lord Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 00:58, 24 November 2013 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


Infobox 3[edit]

Discuss infobox yes or no[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
There is currently no consensus to include an infobox in the Frédéric Chopin article:
  • !votes – 10 supports, 11 opposes in a discussion that ran for two weeks from 15 February 2015, and has attracted no further comments in the last 12 days.
  • merits of the arguments – ignoring the general arguments in favour or against infoboxes (infoboxes are an editorial choice meaning that by definition general arguments balance out against each other), the merits are in the specific arguments (i.e. arguments that don't apply to infoboxes in general, but are specific to the Frédéric Chopin article): several of the standard infobox data can not be summarized in a few words for Chopin: (birth date? relationship?...) other data, that are straightforward (e.g. height), are of questionable relevance. Even among proponents of the infobox questions like which data to include, and which layout to prefer remain undecided. It has not been established by consensus or otherwise that either a detailed infobox (collapsed or not), or a "strict essentials" infobox is seen as an improvement to this article.

For these reasons the article should not have an infobox until it is first decided which content/layout of the infobox would have most support, and there is a clear consensus to include it (which is thus far not established in the current sections below).

Other thoughts:

  • decorum (see Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Infoboxes#Editors reminded) – a stricter adherence to "all editors are reminded to maintain decorum (...) when engaged in discussions about infoboxes, and to avoid turning discussions about a single article's infobox into a discussion about infoboxes in general" seems commendable, while there are a few remarks in that sense regarding the current discussion, e.g. introducing the infobox in the article without clear consensus (at least before closure of the ongoing discussion); talk page decorum: removing comments already replied to by others, going off-topic, etc.

For all interested parties: please familiarize yourselves with the outcome of the infoboxes case, in particular Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Infoboxes#Editors reminded. --Francis Schonken (talk) 09:28, 9 March 2015 (UTC)


  • Support infobox (repeating from 2014, I am restricted to not make a further comment in the matter) --Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:46, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. Love it! It's great to find some of the essential plot points of Chopin's life neatly summarized this way! Nihil novi (talk) 08:24, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support for all the reasons I mentioned above and all the reasons any major biography should contain an infobox. Montanabw(talk) 08:38, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose infobox for the same reasons I dislike curtains. Must all houses have curtains? Are houses without curtains inherently inferior? Second, why use a cropped version of the only photograph taken of Chopin? Victoria (tk) 16:20, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support infobox for all the reasons already aired. Sorry, can't provide any home-furnishing arguments. I think the cropped photogragh looks a bit more focused, although he looks equally miserable in both. Martinevans123 (talk) 16:29, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose infobox for reasons I have given above. --Smerus (talk) 17:14, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I don't know who wrote this article, but it's clear that they knew what they were doing: they read up on the topic thoroughly and wrote with care. It's disrespectful to these good editors to let other editors, who haven't done their homework, come in and post trivia in the most conspicuous possible position. Opus33 (talk) 17:52, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
Surely building consensus for what editors see as an improvement has nothing to do with "respect" for previous editors. The information proposed for the infobox is anything but "trivia". Martinevans123 (talk) 18:10, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
...but thanks anyway for the compliment which I accept also on behalf of User:Dr Blofeld and others who contributed.--Smerus (talk) 11:16, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
you're very welcome. Perhaps he also has a view. Martinevans123 (talk) 11:20, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose infobox per the extended discussion above, and particularly because of the point made about contentious nationality, which can adequately be addressed in a medium-sized paragraph, but not in an infobox.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 20:36, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose in the current form -- I am neutral on the use of infoboxes, but I agree with those who point out that this example uses trivial (e.g. height) and contentious (e.g. nationality) data. I'd like any consensus to be explicit about the omission of these. --Stfg (talk) 22:07, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose in current form. I am with Stfg on the need to limit any infobox to essential identifying data. The inclusion of height is a provocation, and a pretty stupid one (along with weight, hat size and favourite colour). Brianboulton (talk) 23:06, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
Some composers can be quite heavy, you know. Martinevans123 (talk) 23:21, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, but that's undue weight, no? --Stfg (talk) 00:12, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support infobox with the information as shown. I wouldn't worry if height were omitted, particularly if unsourced. I'm pretty certain that Chopin's nationality is not contentious: "born Polish, French citizen 1835" or something similar would be a reasonable summary and quite beyond dispute. --RexxS (talk) 23:33, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support infobox, preferring the original daguerrotype image for its historical importance and better quality. We should not include height in the infobox as it is irrelevant without the context of the Sand quote about "...this little creature..." (where it is in any case not mentioned). --Mirokado (talk) 01:31, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose infobox as redundant and possibly misleading, in this particular article. I agree with User:Smerus [4]. The article's lede summarizes the most important points clearly, the rest is explained in the article's body. I also oppose the uniformity on Wikipedia. See Help:Infobox: The use of infoboxes is neither required nor prohibited for any article. --Vejvančický (talk / contribs) 08:01, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
Why would it be "possibly misleading"? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 10:57, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
[5], #3. --Vejvančický (talk / contribs) 12:18, 16 February 2015 (UTC){
Yes, I see your point. But you think it's totally impossible to agree on a summary description of his nationality that would not be misleading? Martinevans123 (talk) 12:14, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. Wikipedia - any reference work - must be at the service of its readers/users. If it is simply - or even primarily - to become a vanity project for those of us who contribute to it it will wither and die sooner rather than later, as the present generation of readers falls away. There is some superb scholarship and some first class writing in the Chopin entry (as well, you might conclude, as just a little smidgeon of the other stuff .... ) Some readers will love to read it and have time to do so. Others will simply wish to check whether he was French or Polish, seventeenth century or eighteenth century, for a "pub quiz" ... simple easily tabulated things. Wikipedia needs to cater for both groups (and at different times many of the same people will find themselves sometimes in one group and sometimes in the other), in order to maximize its reach and, for that matter, maximize the proportion of this year's wiki-readers who next year may find they have the time and inclination to become competent or better wiki-contributors themselves. Include the info box for those who thought they only wanted to give ten seconds to checking out the fellow's place of birth, and they may even be seduced into reading the excellent intro section as well, and maybe the entire entry next Sunday when they have more time. Reward them with a wall of prose and there are some who will never have the time or inclination to read through to the second sentence of the first para. You should not dismiss those people simply because they have difficulty reading English, which may be your first or second language but not necessarily theirs. If you were ever involved in any sort of lecturing or teaching you will have spotted that different people absorb information in different ways. Some prefer to listen, some to read, some like pictures, some like charts, some like the challenge of long sentences installed in three page paragraphs, some like to start with a group discussion, while others want to leave that till they've read up on the subject in the library. If your mission is to inform, you should try and be inclusive of all types of learner, and not just of the ones that remind you of yourself. I believe one may be meant to add "IMHO" at this point. Hmmmm. Regards Charles01 (talk) 09:28, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
and another thing A lot of these reactions appear to conflate two questions:
"Infobox - yes or no?"
"someone put something in the infobox that in my opinion should not be there"
For the, avoidance of doubt, my own support is wholly in response to the first of these questions. I do not see that it makes the discussion easier to handle if you start muddling in the second. If someone wants to launch a discussion about what to include in an infobox for Chopin, that's fine and eminently worthwhile to discuss. Line by line if folks have the patience. But it is not, I think, the topic presently under discussion! Best wishes Charles01 (talk) 11:57, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
The reason I (and perhaps others) raised it here was that many of the objections to infoboxes are based on fears of perceived misuse, e.g. for trivia or to oversimplify controversial issues. The yes-or-no question thus cannot be separated from the what-in-what-out question. --Stfg (talk) 12:03, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Well, I think you can answer the two different issues in distinct lines of discussion all the same. If this were a formal RfC, I would say that as much was mandated in the wording of the question itself. But this isn't, afterall, an RfC and I think we can all see which positions support the use of an infobox in general, which do not and which ones speak to the ancillary issues; you and Brianboulton were both pretty clear in your opinions. Snow talk 12:26, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. I understand reservations about excessive detail, if a proposal did in fact include such a detail as height, but the overall utility of an infobox in this case is fairly obvious and well-attested by the current versions of the mock-ups. On a side-note, my personal opinion on the element that could most stand to go is the signature. I've never been sold on the broad encyclopedic value of prominently featuring a signature. None of our readers likely to by authenticating Chopin's signature on a historical document and if they were, they wouldn't be taking their ques on this subject matter from us. Snow talk 11:33, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. The whole point of the box is to be redundant for a fast overview - Do what is best for our readers to gain info is what we are here to do. -- Moxy (talk) 12:50, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Per Brian and Smerus. It's just redundant in its current form. I support infoboxes where they're actually of informational value and not just furniture as Victoria says. I preferred the original Chopin image by itself. I would be less objectionable to the infobox suggested by Gerda below though, but the current one is just pointless. Above all I just don't get why this is suddenly an issue, the time would be better put into getting some of the others up to FA status.♦ Dr. Blofeld 13:18, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Lowest common denominator dross. It has little use here that can't be replicated by a little exercise in intelligence of approach. - SchroCat (talk) 14:44, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm a contributor to this article and I was only just alerted to this, as have other contributors including Tim and Schro. It's hardly a fair consensus is it? Do all of the other composer FAs have infoboxes too?♦ Dr. Blofeld 15:06, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
Not really relevant (see WP:OTHERSTUFF). But I for one am still interested in opinions on this matter. So long as the consensus version is not edit-warred over, there's no harm in discussion continuing, though I think this is largely a WP:SNOW issue; the long-term reservations of some surrounding infoboxes in composer article's not withstanding, infoboxes are pretty ubiquitous, especially for biographies. Consensus seems to have already pushed things there now, but even if it hadn't, it would have sooner or later. Snow -I take all complaints in the form of rap battles- 22:34, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it's very relevant. If there's a project consensus actually in place deciding NOT to use infoboxes then it ought to be respected and treated consistently. If there is actually no consensus any longer to eliminate them, then that should also be consistent. So pointing out that none of the others have them at FA level is very relevant, Chopin should not be the exception.♦ Dr. Blofeld 17:41, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Repetitive, ugly, and needless. A complete blot on the otherwise perfect landscape of a wonderful article. This kind of eyesore is akin to the sort of thing a local authority would erect at a beauty spot telling people "how beautiful the area is", thus ruining it. Yes, we know the name of the area as we wouldn't be there; yes, we know it's beautiful; so why tell us things we already know? — CassiantoTalk 08:40, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
Is it possible some readers might visit this article for the first time, knowing nothing about such a beautiful area? Or perhaps this article is here purely for the benefit of Wikipedia editors. Martinevans123 (talk)
Whilst working out why are you responding to every single editor who dares to cast an opposed vote here, I shall answer your point: Those editors "who don't have the time to read" as the editor below refers to them as, will find that everything contained within the "magnificent" info box is given within the first few lines of the truly magnificent lede. The current info box is not fully representative of the article as a whole and the article would require little or no scanning in order to find the desired information as given within the info box. I'm not opposed to info boxes per sey, but for certain biographies they are utterly pointless in my opinion. CassiantoTalk 15:58, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Infoboxes are magnificent for people who don't have the time to read the article, casual readers, trivia game contestants, and people who can understand little English. They provide a gloss over regarding the persons picture, D.O.B and D.O.D, age of which they died, what they are generally known for, and normally a signature. All valid things that hurt no-one but may help someone. Stylistic dislike from some aside... GuzzyG (talk) 13:12, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per others. Hftf (talk) 21:17, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


Maintaining automatic numbering[edit]

Would editors please note that, in numbered lists using the # notation, indented replies should be prefixed with #: etc, not with :: etc, and that there must be no blank lines. Blank lines and colons without # signs disrupt the automatic numbering. Thanks. --Stfg (talk) 13:15, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

shame, I sometimes like the blank lines best. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:14, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for the effort to keep this clean, Stfg. I've actually removed the enumerating format for present time; I needed to hat a contentious procedural discussion that had no relevance to the content issue, and couldn't implement it without breaking the numbering, which in this instance was not serving any integral purpose. If you disagree, do feel free to revert (or try to get the features to place nice, of course). Snow -I take all complaints in the form of rap battles- 08:14, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, Snow Rise. That's fine. --Stfg (talk) 10:45, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Discuss infobox design[edit]

Frédéric Chopin
Frédéric Chopin by Bisson, 1849.png
Born Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin
(1810-03-01)1 March 1810
Żelazowa Wola, Poland
Died 17 October 1849(1849-10-17) (aged 39)
Place Vendôme, Paris, France
Nationality Polish; French citizen 1835
Education
Occupation
  • Composer
  • Pianist
  • Piano teacher
Notable work List of compositions
Movement Romantic
Partner(s) George Sand (1836–47)
Parent(s)
Signature Chopins Unterschrift.svg

Dislike of parameters is a good reason to discuss those parameters. My version was shorter. I added the works list to this box, which would provide access to his compositions in a prominent position. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 08:10, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

Love your idea of adding the Chopin works list! A brilliant idea! Nihil novi (talk) 08:24, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

This infobox was started by 118.210.75.162 and edited by Nihil novi, Smerus, myself, Favonian, Jsharpminor, Martinevans123, Stfg and Mirokado, and restored by RexxS, AMEB2003 and Montanabw. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 08:10, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

  • Comment: If certain parameters aren't desired (height, unless relevant) then they can stay out of the infobox until resolved. No reason to throw out the whole infobox. Let's not make the perfect the enemy of the good. FA class doesn't mandate an exhaustive infobox, just a solid and accurate one. Montanabw(talk) 08:38, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
  • I have a comment about the picture. There was some discussion about this at the time of FA, as I recall. Cropping it has imo two drawbacks. You lose the composition of the original by Bisson - which itself is significant as it was typical of the period and places Chopin in the context of early photographic practices. Also, as the quality of the original is somewhat grainy, it looks even grainier in the close-up. I therefore argue in favour of retaining the earlier photo, whatever the outcome of this discussion. I also repeat my comment about the irrelevance/inappropriateness of including FC's alleged height - for which I think we still don't have any citation, in any case. Unlike the other information in the proposed infobox, it has no bearing whatsoever on his career or significance. If you include this, where do you stop? - we will have bright sparks proposing the colour of his hair or eyes, or his favourite breakfast....--Smerus (talk) 17:14, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
    • I agree that the older, sepia image is better and there is no real need to include height. However, no need to raise the logical fallacy of a slippery slope argument here, just because a parameter exists doesn't mean we have to use it. Montanabw(talk) 22:51, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Let me also make a comment about nationality. As can be seen from discussions above and at the time of the FA this has been a hot topic. I am amongst those who believe that 'Polish' is the right answer if you only have one word. But he did become a French national , and the French in particular often treat him as such. Therefore, if you are going to highlight this information in an infobox, (and if it goes ahead), I believe you should say something like: 'Polish: obtained French nationality in 1835.'--Smerus (talk) 17:22, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
    • That would work, or as below omit nationality in favor of listing birth and death location. Either would work. Montanabw(talk) 22:51, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Comments. 1., agree with Smerus about nationality. Typically infoboxes don't lend themselves well to artists who are born in one country and become citizens of another. 2., the birthdate is an issue. 3., File:Frédéric Chopin by Bisson, 1849.png is a 9 mb high rez image, presumably a daguerrotype, and if truly the only image, then we should use it. File:Frederic Chopin photo.jpeg is a 536 kb very grainy cropped version of the original and retains none of the background. 4., "Piano teacher" gives me pause. 5., To Americans who don't use the metric system height means nothing and begs the question of how tall was the piano? 6., threaded discussion is here and this section should be renamed and it would be best to move all responding comments from the section above down here. A neutral party should watch this discussion and refactor as necessary, so as to allow consensus to develop. 7., Suggest allowing the discussion to run for 30 days. Victoria (tk) 20:07, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
  • The purpose of an infobox, if any, should be to serve as a quick reference to those things that a drive-by reader might want to look up quickly, but with no intention to read the text of the article. That's surely one reasonable use of an encyclopedia. For most composers, this would include dates of birth and death, nationality (but if contentious, either say so or omit), famous family members and partners (very famous, not merely GNG notable; think of the Bachs and the Couperins), movement, link to list of works. No biometrics please, these aren't boxers or footballers. Education isn't really needed in a quickref. Nor is signature -- yes, it's in the FA already, but perhaps it's undue so high up anyway (?) --Stfg (talk) 22:18, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
Agree with your comments. (Can never really get my head round signatures. Maybe they should be reserved for writers and art forgers? Although this article is quite interesting, even if based on the discredited fringe science of graphology). Martinevans123 (talk) 22:25, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
    • Room for flexibility: Anyone opposing the infobox because they have issue with a parameter is simply poisoning the well; We can start with a very stripped-down design and than add as consensus allows. There is room within the parameters to deal with disputes. Nationality can be omitted in favor of stating a birthplace and a death place. Dates that are disputed can be noted as disputed by simply using raw text instead of a templated parameter. The convert template can handle the height issue if it needs to be in there at all, which I doubt. Montanabw(talk) 22:51, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
  • An infobox with very little content would be an infobox that I wouldn't take the trouble to defend if removed. But here is an infobox with a dozen pieces of information available at a glance. I can see from previous debates that nationality has been the subject of debate, but I'm quite certain that (1) modern Poles identify him as born in their country and (2) he spend much of his brief adult life in France and became a French citizen. It's not too difficult to précis that without being any more "misleading" than the opening sentence and I'd prefer Smerus' formulation to MontanaBW's in this instance. The article agrees that Chopin's date of birth is generally accepted as 1 March 1810. An earlier commenter said they were "curious as to whether or not Beethoven and Chopin were contemporaries" and it is a valid query that infoboxes are good at answering. We don't need to know about the parish baptismal records discrepancy to make the comparison with Beethoven's birth and death dates. And if consensus considers that the 22 February 1810 putative birthdate is significant enough, it's no hardship to state "1 March or possibly 22 February 1810" in the same way as the lead does. There's no contention over Chopin's place of birth; his age, place and date of death; his occupations; his liaison with George Sand; where he was educated; his parents' names, and more, although I've never been a fan of having signatures in infoboxes. I hope that this will accepted in the spirit in which it is intended: a possible way forward that other editors could live with, even if not their first choice. Cheers --RexxS (talk) 23:59, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

Identibox[edit]

Frédéric Chopin
Born Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin
(1810-03-01)1 March 1810 (or possibly 22 February 1810)
Żelazowa Wola, Poland
Died 17 October 1849(1849-10-17) (aged 39)
Paris, France
Occupation
Notable work List of compositions
Signature CHopin SIgnature.svg

Similar to the one suggested in 2014, no height, no nationality, focus on life data and the works, - The term was coined by Brianboulton, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 21:35, 15 February 2015 (UTC) Similar

  • Oppose for now because the proposal made at 7:46 UTC is being so quickly followed by a second proposal at 21:35 UTC. Consensus takes time to develop and there's no reason to rush from one proposal to the next. Pinging Courcelles, who protected the page, to keep eyes here, moderate if necessary, or to ask another uninvolved admin to step in. Let's please allow the 420 some watchers on the page to chime in if they wish. Issues such as nationality and the image have been raised and decisions are only slowly forming. It often takes time for consensus to form, but we don't have a deadline. Suggest archiving this thread and bringing back to the table later if necessary. Victoria (tk) 21:55, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
  • I've struck the oppose above made on the basis that the second proposal came in too quickly after the first. The identibox is fine as is; I can support it. One more, and probably unnecessary comment, is that the analogy to curtains was simply made in desperation to think of something mundane and possibly inane to bring down the temperature a little. Victoria (tk) 16:20, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
This was suggested on 6 April 2014, here with the other image, to show alternatives. If we can discuss only one idea (but why?) we should discuss this one first. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 22:12, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
Possibly we're moving into !voting too quickly, but it's useful to know that an advocate is willing to cut it down to size. This suggestion seems to me to be moving in the right direction, acknowledging the concerns of the opposers. I would cut it down still further -- omit occupation and signature, but possibly reinstate George Sand since this connection is very well known. --Stfg (talk) 22:25, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
More sensible suggestions. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:27, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
My feeling is that we must give adequate time to decide. To use the analogy above, is it necessary to hang a curtain - because most of the houses have curtains, because they are useful, fashionable, whatever? Or can we wait patiently to decide? If the overwhelming consensus is to have a curtain, the type of curtain can be decided at that time. Anyway, I have this article on watch only because I meant to post during the FA review, and have now used up my self-imposed rules about infoboxes curtains for the next year or so. Victoria (tk) 22:37, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
"A house without curtains is like a woman without eyebrows" (Romanian). For some reason I'm always reminded of Frank, alas. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:57, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
Arguably, an infobox is the absence of a curtain: it gives the passer-by a peep into the house. Nihil novi (talk) 01:50, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
  • A blend - each version has something to be said for it. Parameters aren't set in stone, there is room for variations. Montanabw(talk) 22:46, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
    • Per discussion above, I WP:BBoldly edited the first infobox to reflect what I think people agree on, the image swap and clarifying nationality. Montanabw(talk) 02:27, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

Whilst I cannot honestly say that I like the 'identibox', it would be churlish for me to object to something that meets most of my objections and seems to have some general approbation. I therefore thank Gerda for introducing it (and Brian for the concept) and would give it, in principle, my support. I make the following comments:

  1. The signature could of course (and I think should) be detached from the identibox and placed in a separate box below it.
  2. I do not see justification for including George Sand in the identibox, as suggested by Stfg. She is indeed a part of Chopin's story, but in fact an incidental one; she played no part in his greatness, had no demonstrable influence on any of the aspects which make him notable. In fact, for summary purposes, she is no more relevant than his height. The occupation(s) are however germane, so should stay.
  3. On 30 days curtain-hanging - why prolong the agony? If we are close to consensus, let's nail it to the wall and celebrate.--Smerus (talk) 06:24, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, Smerus. I'm cool with leaving Sand out of it. --Stfg (talk) 09:49, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
I should have added above that although Chopin's relationship with Sand is an interesting biographical detail (and we may sometimes forget that this is a biography!), I would concede that it's not key to an understanding of his music, and I doubt whether many casual readers would be looking for that piece of information. I believe there is an art in deciding what pieces of information make an infobox most fit for purpose without bloat, and I'm happy defer to the general consensus on that point. We'd lose little by omitting it. --RexxS (talk) 17:27, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

Another point. Although Chopin was born in what is now Poland, it wasn't Poland then, but the Grand Duchy of Warsaw. As an example, Grove Dictionary (the leading English music dictionary) has him as born in "Żelazowa Wola, nr. Warsaw", and I would propose "Żelazowa Wola, near Warsaw" for this box as being accurate and informative without risking confusion or misleading. In fact it is I think more informative as none of us otherwise have a clue where ZW is to be located. Also, we just need Paris as place of death, as I believe "Paris, France" is generally regarded in WP as overspecification (if we mean Paris, Texas we'll say so). Best, --Smerus (talk) 13:43, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

Can I also say that "age 39" seems to me to be pointless and/or patronizing - the dates are there and the mental arithmetic involved is trivial. As there seems no encyclopaedic purpose served by this statement of age, it seems mere cruft.--Smerus (talk) 13:47, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

Compare Michelangelo. The calculation of age at death is a standard feature, but if you as the main contributor say it seems cruft you can have it without ;) - I think if we want to avoid "Nationality" we should mention Poland and France, but could do it as in the example by adding "present-day", - of course an option. I would mention "near Warsaw" if we had a village without a link, but here we have one. Nothing wrong with mentioning it, though. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 14:05, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Frédéric Chopin
Frédéric Chopin by Bisson, 1849.png
Photograph by Bisson, c. 1849
Born Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin
(1810-03-01)1 March 1810 (or possibly 22 February 1810)
Żelazowa Wola, near Warsaw
Died 17 October 1849(1849-10-17)
Paris
Occupation
Notable work List of compositions
Signature CHopin SIgnature.svg
'Age at' - my impression is that this feature comes from pop-star or actor biographies on WP, where the age can change automatically by using HTML. It doesn't have relevance for dead people, and is not 'significant information'. If you have 'near Warsaw', which would be fine by me, you don't need 'Poland', in the same way as you don't need 'France' after 'Paris'. You could have "Żelazowa Wola, near Warsaw (present-day Poland)" but that seems to me clunky and over the top; certainly clutters up the box. Anyone seeing it might think. 'but of course Warsaw is in present day Poland', without getting the point that it wasn't Poland (as we now know it) in 1810. I mention parenthetically that it is this difficulty between concision and accuracy that is a major factor in making me wary of boxes, as opposed to ledes where the subtle implications can be better set out. But I am sure we can find the right balance somehow and I hope that might prove a benchmark for any future discussions, if they emerge, at other articles. Best, --Smerus (talk) 19:28, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Michelangelo isn't a pop-star ;) - I dropped the image for now (commented out) for the alternatives, here what I understand, - imagine the link to the works. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 20:21, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
I didn't create the Michelangelo infobox, but maybe the editor who did was also a fan of Sting. I am not sure why the Chopin image has been taken out, Gerda - now the whole thing looks redundant. (Which chimes with my original objections to such boxes in general). In particular, there's no point in having Frédéric Chopin in bold when the box would be, I assume, just under the title. Is the idea that this little box would go under, or above, a separate frame with the photo? Yours mystified, --Smerus (talk) 11:11, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
The image has only been taken out for this talk page (as I thought was clear by for now, but I am used to be misunderstood, - I think we don't need the same image three times in one thread). - Michelangelo is just one example out of many, compare other great people, I will not clutter here by adding more names. Hope the mist is enlightened ;) --Gerda Arendt (talk) 13:22, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
OK now I understand. (I turned 65 two days ago so my brain is slowing down. :-( ). Then the identibox in present state (with picture) would be fine by me (with link to the works if you like).--Smerus (talk) 10:05, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
Gerda, does "imagine the link to the works" mean you plan to include it? It seemed to be popular in the above discussion. --Stfg (talk) 11:37, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, - to not get these things lost in text I restored it above, also the image. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 12:01, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
We show age at death for every deceased person with an infobox, not just pop stars, so long as the dates (or years) are known. We also display the subject's name above the infobox, in every article that has one (possible excpetions may be found, if the infobox in impropely constructed). Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 10:39, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
I know that we normally show age at death for deceased people, and age for living people, but would survive an exception in this case ;) --Gerda Arendt (talk) 12:01, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
I have posted what I believe is consistent with Smerus's view expressed above, minus the signature and without the "age at death" which, with due respect, seems a little redundant when dates are given. I don't think that the occupations of "composer" and "pianist" require wikilinking. I am not suggesting that this need be the final version, but it's about as far as the "indentibox" concept goes: clear identification of the subject, when he lived and what he did. Brianboulton (talk) 16:36, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
I have just touched up the places, in line with discussion above.--Smerus (talk) 09:50, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
The identibox just looks horrible..♦ Dr. Blofeld 13:20, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
Phew! Thank goodness that's all settled now. Martinevans123 (talk) 15:10, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
Dear Doctor, I am inclined to agree with you, but there you are, life sometimes calls on us to make sacrifices for the public weal, (enabling us to feel relatively smug and saintly).--Smerus (talk) 19:18, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Life is too short to argue over silly things like infoboxes. I really don't understand the need to have one for every article for the sake of it but people are different I guess. If we must have an infobox though I'd rather it was fuller than the identibox, or at least a fuller one and suppressed with a show option. I do think it's time though that the programming was changed and infoboxes are controlled externally and users have the option to hide them or keep them. This silly dispute keeps happening and it's a waste of everybody's time.♦ Dr. Blofeld 19:24, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

I think your 'optional display of infoboxes' seems an appropriate long-term solution - although it has the drawback that editors (like myself) who don't want to see infoboxes but are concerned about the accuracy of articles will still have to keep the infoboxes on their watchlists to ensure that they are kept cruft-free.--Smerus (talk) 19:37, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
The method of doing this has been explained, more than once by me, and by others, in past discussions. Here, for example, is an occasion when it was explained to you in July 2013. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:24, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
And as I said last time "Yes but it doesn't stop disputes happening over info and navboxes. The option should be there in preferences to suppress them. " And it's not as if all infoboxes are annoying furniture pieces. A lot of infoboxes are very useful, particularly on aircraft, ships and places. A hide all option isn't really a good idea. Now if we had something to hide them in biographies and simply place a nice photo there instead a lot of editors would like that. I just think we need to be flexible and cater for different preferences, which is all this really comes down to.♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:33, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I would also be interested in making the appearance of articles as customisable as possible. Of course a registered user can add table.infobox {display:none;} to their common.css, but they would lose the image. A change to preferences wouldn't help 95% of the visitors to the site, because they are not registered and don't have preferences, so we need to look at longer-term solutions to customising Wikipedia's appearance. If WMF could be persuaded to allow cookies to be set, then we could make some progress, but they seem resistant despite many major sites using them routinely to store visitor preferences between visits.

As for the watchlist problem, I keep most of the articles I edit or comment on on my watchlist and I'm prepared to help out with keeping the article tidy. I've just reverted an IP who added extra parameters that had been discussed and rejected in this thread (although I left Place Vendôme as I thought it was better than just Paris - feel free to discuss). Cheers --RexxS (talk) 15:39, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

Chopin's signature just below the photograph[edit]

Frédéric Chopin

Frédéric Chopin by Bisson, 1849.png

Chopins Unterschrift.svg
Born Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin
(1810-03-01)1 March 1810
Żelazowa Wola, Poland
Died 17 October 1849(1849-10-17) (aged 39)
Place Vendôme, Paris, France
Nationality Polish; French citizen 1835
Education
Occupation
  • Composer
  • Pianist
  • Piano teacher
Notable work List of compositions
Movement Romantic
Partner(s) George Sand (1836–47)
Parent(s)

I rather like the look and contents of the original infobox (at the top). However, some object to Chopin's signature being placed at the bottom of the column. Why not move it to just beneath his photo, as in other biography articles? That way, his artistic autograph embellishes his unique photograph. Please see at the right. Nihil novi (talk) 21:10, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Yes, if we must have an infobox I'd prefer your one which is actually of (limited) use, although some of the parameters are pretty redundant.♦ Dr. Blofeld 17:34, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Year of birth[edit]

For the casual reader, the different order of Chopin's possible dates of birth in the 1st sentence and the infobox is confusing. If two dates are needed (the French Wikipedia only needs 1 March), they should be listed in the same order. Having only 1 "above the fold" would IMO be better. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 11:34, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

Image options[edit]

I'd like to discuss these three images:

  1. [[File:Frédéric Chopin by Bisson, 1849.png|thumb|right|upright=1.0|Photograph of Chopin by [[Louis-Auguste Bisson|Bisson]], c. 1849<br /><br />{{center|[[File:Chopins Unterschrift.svg|150px]]}}]]
  2. [[File:Eugène Ferdinand Victor Delacroix 043.jpg|thumb|upright=0.8|left|Chopin at 28, from [[Eugène Delacroix|Delacroix]]'s [[Portrait of Frédéric Chopin and George Sand|joint portrait of Chopin and Sand]]]]
  3. [[File:Eugène Ferdinand Victor Delacroix 041.jpg|thumb|right|upright=0.7|[[George Sand]] sewing, from [[Eugène Delacroix|Delacroix]]'s joint portrait of Chopin and Sand (1838)]]
  • #1 is currently the WP:LEADIMAGE but #2 (currently in the "George Sand" section, see below) seems a much better fit for that (from the guideline: "...the type of image that is used for similar purposes in high-quality reference works, and therefore what our readers will expect to see"): the Delacroix painting is used much more often as a first visual encounter in reference works than the Bisson photograph.
  • #3 obviously rather belongs to the Frédéric Chopin#George Sand section than where it is now.
  • #1, an image from the late 1840s, obviously belongs to the Frédéric Chopin#Decline period (section content starting "From 1842 onwards...") much more than a 1838 portrait of Sand.

--Francis Schonken (talk) 09:30, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

Francis, you evidently did not 'want to discuss the images'; you made the changes in the article without discussion, which was rather peremptory, to say the least. This is an FA, so please show particular consideration when you make far-reaching edits. There has already been quite a lot of discussion about the lead image on this talk page. (Look at recent archives). The consensus was that this particular image was suitable for the lead. Vis-a-vis Delacroix, one obvious point is that it is a photo. There is no question that the image is of a type suitable for high-quality reference works. The guidelines say nothing about 'first visual encounters', and balancing Bisson vs. Delacroix is going to boil down to WP:OR, or, what is much the same, personal taste. I don't feel that it is necessary to rerun the previous discussions. In the meantime I am reverting the lead and other images to the situation before an infobox was imposed on the article (and to when it was approved as an FA).--Smerus (talk) 11:20, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

WP:FA notwithstanding, how does the image of George Sand sewing illustrate the section on "Chopin's decline", where she is not even mentioned? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 11:56, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Martinevans123, do try to read the article before commenting, you will see that Sand is indeed mentioned in the section 'Decline'. I wouldn't object to axing the George Sand image entirely (bearing in mind WP:NOTREPOSITORY). To place it elsewhere would make the text, which is the prime element of WP, cluttered. She is incidental to Chopin's story, not really any part of his artistic developmwent (unless you include making him fretful from time to time). One alternative might be to make a small gallery featuring various people from Chopin's life, and including her there.--Smerus (talk) 13:00, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Smerus, thank you so much for such useful advice. Yes, I must try harder. "Chopin's relations with Sand were soured..." is not a big mention, is it? I'm struggling still with the sewing and the difference in the years - the painting was two years earlier. Was this how it was at FA? Martinevans123 (talk) 13:13, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

M. le docteur, I have reinstated the arch of the photo. Last time this was discussed it was agreed to retain it for two reasons: 1) making the original photo larger also made it coarser, and 2) leaving the arch shape gave a clearer indication of the intended look and composition of the photo which was typical of its period. Once more, as this was recently discussed and consenssus reached, I submit that its not appropriate to discuss it again.--Smerus (talk) 13:04, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

I supsected I was wasting my time on the issue :-) The problem for me is when you click the photo and the bare white at the top shows, looks unprofessional. You can see the grey grid when you click it. And I also don't like the signature underneath set at a different size. If you edited the photo to include the signature in the bottom right of the image it would look a lot better, or at least use the Template:Multiple image function to avoid the gap and difference in width..♦ Dr. Blofeld 13:10, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
How recent was that discussion? I'm sure a link would be very useful. Was User:Dr. Blofeld a part of that discussion? Sometimes different editors bring new arguments. Consensus can change (apparently). Martinevans123 (talk) 13:22, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
The stray signature set at a different size to me looks pretty unsightly. Click the photo and you can see the grey grid in the Chopin picture at the top. Doesn't emulate the period to me, it looks amateurish when you click it. We prefer a nice clean photograph in other composer articles don't we? The Richard Wagner article with the clean photograph, no silly gaps and arches, with the signature underneath all in one looks a great way to display it without an infobox IMO. If there's consensus against me then I'll refrain from further comment.♦ Dr. Blofeld 13:37, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Poor blighter looks doomed. Martinevans123 (talk) 13:47, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Chopin, 1835, watercolor by his fiancée, Maria Wodzińska
I agree. Why not use the 1835 watercolor portrait by his fiancée at the time, Maria Wodzińska?
Nihil novi (talk) 13:57, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
You could that 1835 watercolor with the signature underneath, all in one like Wagner. The photo is OK but that archway really has me baffled.♦ Dr. Blofeld 14:03, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

Doctor, I am very happy for you to edit the photo to contain the signature as you propose; as I'm cackhanded at this sort of thing I leave it to you. User:Martinevans123, the discussion about the photo was on this page and at the FA discussion of August last year. By the way, actually the poor blighter was doomed, so you've given us another good reason for keeping the pic, now I come to think of it, many thanks.--Smerus (talk) 14:04, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

Happy to oblige. Martinevans123 (talk) 14:09, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

Reiterating my original proposal:

  • There is a section in the article with the section title "George Sand". There's only one image of Sand in the article, the Delacroix painting (#3 in the list above). Now we can have that image appearing in a section further down on the page (where she is mentioned in passing), as it is now. Or we can put the picture in the section called "George Sand". The second option appears by far preferable to me.
  • Afaik the Delacroix painting of Chopin (#2 in the list above) is by far the most often used effigy of the composer. That is no OR, but if needed we could look into this. I don't say the Bisson photograph (#1) is "unsuitable" or whatever as a lead image. What I say is that the Delacroix painting seems a "better fit" for "...the type of image that is used for similar purposes in high-quality reference works, and therefore what our readers will expect to see" as the guideline has it. This is a layout option I support without needing to be ashamed of whatever (as such, since no content is removed or added, only moved to different places, I see nothing in content policies that would be against such preference: WP:BALASPS rather supports my preference I suppose).
  • #1, the Bisson photograph is not the Chopin of famous compositions like the Piano Sonata No. 2 or the Preludes Op. 28. It belongs to a period when he wrote less (and generally less remembered) compositions. That period is titled (somewhat over-the-top if you ask me but nonetheless) "Decline" in the article, and which makes him look like a "doomed poor blighter" as it is expressed above (note that the photograph has zero eye expression, which is maybe high quality for monochrome photography at the time, but not high quality compared to other effigies made at the time, most commonly by the medium of painting). That's not who Chopin was when writing the compositions that make him most memorable as a composer. I'm not trying to prove anything here, just explaining my support of a layout option that doesn't remove or add any content to the article. For such reasons I support moving the Bisson photograph from the lead to the section titled "Decline", which is also a chronological fit for that effigy.

I couldn't find any prior discussion where all three of the images above are discussed, and afaik the permutation I propose is suggested here for the first time. FA acknowledged but that is no guarantee that further improvements are unthinkable (otherwise: apply page protection ad infinitum and we wouldn't be discussing this – that's not how Wikipedia works). --Francis Schonken (talk) 09:44, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

Well if we're after opinions, mine is to leave the pictures as they now are. And that's what this is all about, just opinions. For you maybe 'the Bisson photograph is not the Chopin of famous compositions like the Piano Sonata No. 2', but for others, (maybe), it is 'Chopin the suffering Romantic genius' which is how they think of him. Neither of those opinions (which constitute WP:OR) are in themselves justifications.--Smerus (talk) 09:59, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

Yes, I think the time and energy would be best put into getting another composer to FA..♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:30, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Although Smerus is voicing opinions here, I think they are informed musical opinions and I tend to agree with him. (We don't want to get trapped in the hallway, arguing over two discount wallpaper pattern books, when there is such a beautiful whole house to attend to.) Martinevans123 (talk) 10:47, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

Tad Szulc, author of Chopin in Paris, calls Maria Wodzińska's 1835 portrait of Chopin the best depiction of him, alongside Delacroix's more famous picture. Nihil novi (talk) 14:04, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

Does he say anything about the Bisson photo? Martinevans123 (talk) 14:10, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

Well David Conway, author of Jewry in Music 1780-1850 (Cambridge University Press, 2012), thinks the Bisson pic is the bee's knees and the Wodzińska pic is effete rubbish. And he knows Chopin personally just as well as Tad Szulc does.--Smerus (talk) 17:16, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

Phew, what a relief. For a moment there I thought there might be a "conflict of interest". Martinevans123 (talk) 17:23, 10 March 2015 (UTC)



Tad Szulc, Chopin in Paris: The Life and Times of the Romantic Composer, New York, Scribner, 1998, ISBN 0-684-82458-2, p. 137:

A gifted artist, Maria [Wodzińska] made sketches of Chopin's head as he played the piano and talked, then sat him down in an armchair to paint his portrait in watercolors. It is one of the best portraits of Chopin extant—after that by Delacroix—with the composer looking relaxed, pensive, and at peace.

Delacroix painted his joint portrait of Chopin and George Sand three years later, in 1838. Szulc writes, p. 194:

[Delacroix had] a Pleyel piano moved to his huge atelier on rue des Marais–Saint Germain on the Left Bank [...]. Then he began painting what became the famous unfinished "double" portrait of Fryderyk and George, with him seated at the piano and her standing behind [...]. The portrait was never fully completed, except for the faces, apparently because Chopin decided he did not like it (the two men often violently disagreed over visual arts without jeopardizing their friendship), and the canvas remained at the atelier until Delacroix's death in 1863. Between 1865 and 1873 (nobody is sure), an unidentified culprit slashed the portrait into two parts (the right side of the portrait, depicting Chopin, remains in Paris at the Louvre; the left side, with Sand, is at the Ordrupgaard Museum in Copenhagen).

Szulc's portfolio of portraits of Chopin, his family, and his acquaintances includes the Bisson photo, minus the awkward overhead arch, and with the image reversed in relation to that in our article's lead.

I don't recall Szulc commenting on this cadaverous photograph. I am glad that it exists; but it seems a shame to memorialize Chopin with such a haggard image.

Szulc himself placed Maria's portrait of Chopin on the front cover and spine of his book.

Nihil novi (talk) 05:30, 11 March 2015 (UTC)



As to the placement of portraits in our article, I had the same reactions as Francis Schonken.

The Bisson photo of Chopin would, chronologically, be more suitable for the "Decline" or the "Tour of England and Scotland" section.

Delacroix's portrait of George Sand would be more appropriate for the "George Sand" section than for the "Decline" section, where it now resides.

Either the Delacroix or the Wodzińska (my own preference) portrait would be much better for the article's lead than the Bisson photo that is there now.

Nihil novi (talk) 06:38, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

A couple of points. Tad Szulc was a political and war journalist who happened to write a best-selling (and imho not very insightful) biography of Chopin. He probably didn't even know that the Bisson photo existed - the fact that he didn't mention it is not WP:NOTABLE one way or the other. More importantly, this is a photo of Chopin - indeed it is the only verifiable photo, and therefore has encyclopaedic value and, I would say, preference over artistic interpretations. Objections to it on the basis that it is 'cadaverous', 'haggard' or 'gloomy' are simply WP:IDONTLIKEIT, (which please read). Other FA and GA articles on 19c composers - Richard Wagner, Bedrich Smetana, Jules Massenet, Gabriel Fauré, Arthur Sullivan, Johann Strauss II, John Philip Sousa, André Messager, etc. etc. also have photos at the head, and quite right too imo.--Smerus (talk) 09:47, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

Are you saying that the reproduction of Bisson's photo that appears in Szulc's book found its way there against his will and without his knowledge? I specifically said (see above) that the photo appears in the book, minus the arch, and with the image reversed. There is even a caption which says: "Fryderyk Chopin photographed during the final years of his life (1847–1849?) by L.A. Bisson. This is the only known photograph of Chopin extant. (Collection of Fryderyk Chopin Society, Warsaw.)" The fact that Szulc does not seem to have otherwise commented on it certainly does not mean that the photo isn't in his book or that he "didn't even know that the Bisson photo existed"! Nihil novi (talk) 02:45, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
I don't have the book - my comment was generic, I don't rate Szulc, that's all. You are the one who said he didn't comment on it, but now you correct that by citing the caption in the book.--Smerus (talk) 09:26, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

I did try the portrait vs the photograph and the photograph is a superior image, although I'd prefer it without the arch at the top and cropped.♦ Dr. Blofeld 11:14, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

The arch at the top is indeed a gratuitous distraction, but as far as I can make out if you crop the arch you also scalp the composer, or at least position him precariously and inelegantly close to the top. Should we wish to do this? Or is there a cropping expert out there with a solution? Charles01 (talk) 11:37, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
I agree btw that the arch is inelegant by modern standards...but...it is part of the photo, the way they were done in those days, and therefore, clumsy as it is, it says something about Chopin's times and milieu. 'Looking nice' (to our modern eyes) is maybe not the prime criterion in this case.--Smerus (talk) 11:55, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
So no chance of photoshopping a smile on or doing something with that dreadful mullet, then? Martinevans123 (talk) 12:10, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Well, there is this.......--Smerus (talk) 12:36, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Ah! A ray of sunshine in the gloom! It's amazing what one can do with a touch of rouge, isn't it. I see a very different use of images over at fr:Frédéric Chopin - and I guess they might have quite a healthy interest in him, n'est ce pas? Alors! Martinevans123 (talk) 16:56, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
I rather like this one (a featured picture no less!) - no colours, but clear eyes. BTW, the Bisson photo has depth (nuance), just not in the copy used on the article currently, while kept in the dark range, which makes the face (and eyes) expressionless. When the Bisson photo is used, at least an acceptable reproduction/digitized version should be used. The current one is high in pixels, but, to make a comparison, like an uncorrected OCR of a manuscript from pages that have been yellowed by time - shouldn't be used in that form. The arch etc. are of no significance as a time document if the nuance is lost in overall darkness (and probably some unnecessary tweaking of contrast which happens automatically by most digitization equipment). --Francis Schonken (talk) 19:56, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Wholly agree. That's a very wise comment. Martinevans123 (talk) 20:00, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
I am very happy to go with Francis's preferred version of the Bisson if this has consensus. A featured picture is certainly appropriate to lead a featured article.--Smerus (talk) 20:21, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Completely disagree. The picture which has just been placed on the article page is, as has already been discussed only recently, of very low quality. I am astonished it is a featured picture and will create a delisting proposal as soon as I have time. There are scanning or digitisation artefacts all over it, the contrast is poor and the grey tones are blotchy. The texture of the coat is completely blurred out. Mid tones are disfigured by regular arrays of black and white spots (shadow under right eyebrow, necktie for example). Lighter areas lose detail (right lapel stitching for example). The only advantage this picture has is less saturation in the dark areas, so more hair detail for example is visible, but this does not in my opinion outweigh the disadvantages. I presume that a good reproduction of the original would be better than either of these images, but we should stick with the darker image – at least it does not look as if it has been incompetently scanned. --Mirokado (talk) 00:14, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

Francis - I remain neutral on this particular issue , but I did make the proviso that I would go with consensus. Normally one should wait awhile to see what comments arise before determining what the consensus is, and I think your substitution of the photo could appropriately have waited until a more secure outcome.--Smerus (talk) 09:26, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

It's hard to see that consensus will ever be reached on anything with this lot. But this case, if the concern is only with the technical quality of the picture, there are plenty of people with the skills and "tools" that could be used to "photoshop" either image to make it look (1) less like something from the nineteenth century without (2) making it obvious that it's been "tweaked". (Tweaking will of course to have happened already, inadvertently or otherwise, in the course of preparing the old image(s) for upload, so we really can't afford to be too "purist" on that score.. Though whether consensus could ever be achieved on what constituted an improvement and what didn't....).
What the pictures have in common - and an important message that I think is well worth conveying with a picture - is that the fellow really does not look very well. Which as we know he mostly wasn't. Regards Charles01 (talk) 09:53, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Frédéric Chopin by Bisson, 1849.png
Frederic Chopin photo.jpeg
Chopin's best known photograph: variant reproductions of a lost (?)
daguerrotype (?) by Louis-Auguste Bisson (?) from 1847 or 1849 (?)

When a picture is thus problematic, better not use it in the lead, but somewhere else in the article, imho. Compare former (?) featured article Charles-Valentin Alkan: the photograph of Alkan used in the article is obviously "problematic" (for other reasons as Chopin's unless "lacking face expression" is somehow desribed as the common problem), and thus not used in the lede, but further down in the article. --Francis Schonken (talk) 09:43, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

File:Frédéric Chopin by Bisson, 1849 crop.png looks better though IMO, although might be slightly too dark in hue.♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:34, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

Let us be clear: the picture in itself is not problematic as Francis Schonken claims; it is definitely the only confirmed picture of Chopin and thus appropriate for the lead. The issue in contention (low-priority in my personal view) is about the version of this picture to be used. As the editor responsible for the (still - why do you suggest 'former'?) FA article on Alkan, I confirm that my reason (which was not discussed during the FA review) for not putting the photo in the lead was indeed that it does not show his face. This photo, however, in whatever version, does. The Musée de la Musique version is clearly citable. We transgress WP:OR if we go about photoshopping a version. Mirokado's comments seem to be from someone who knows what he is talking about, I am happy to defer to him. A crop is acceptable if people think so - in which case Dr. Blofeld's latest proposal seems to me to be as good as any, if objections to the arch are insuperable.--Smerus (talk) 10:58, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

Sorry about the "former (?)", my bad, struck it.
How about giving the two versions + explanation (as presented above) in the "Decline" section? --Francis Schonken (talk) 11:40, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Frédéric Chopin by Bisson, 1849.png
Frédéric Chopin by Bisson, 1849 crop.png
  
Frederic Chopin photo.jpeg
Chopin's best known photograph: variant reproductions of a lost (?)
daguerrotype (?) by Louis-Auguste Bisson (?) from 1847 or 1849 (?)

Here are the three most recent lead images from the article, presented as they actually appeared in the article instead of with an explicit size. --Mirokado (talk) 21:50, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

Image proposal[edit]

I've made a new section for convenience. Thank you Mirokado for the 'side-by-side' comparison. For reasons discussed above I believe that it is fully appropriate to use this image in the lead. I think it is also clear that we should not use the photoshopped version, which is effectively someone's WP:OR. There have been objections to the arched version. I therefore propose that the cropped version of the original, at an appropriate sizing, be used in the lead.--Smerus (talk) 05:59, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

  • For reasons of historic accuracy I prefer the complete, arched version. Cropping should only be done as a last resort when a person has to be extracted from a group photograph, or when the original was poorly framed. Neither applies here. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 06:15, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I'd prefer the lead image to be BOTH an accurate depiction of the person and an accurate time document. If both are not possible (as seems the case here) preference should go to the recognizability of the person, i.e. in the lede of this article (an article on 19th century photography etc. is different).
As there appears to be no version of the photograph available in Wikipedia that satisfies the "accurate effigy" criterion (it just occured to me that the height of the featured image version is somewhat stretched, so no not even an accurate depiction of the composer, and the darker images obliterate the hue depth, so a deformation of the effigy of the composer whatever way one turns it) it seems only reasonable to go for the most famous portrait of the composer ([6]) as lede image, and for the photograph have the split "accurate reproduction"/"recognizable face" duo further on in the article, as I suggested before (or only the arched photograph as long as nobody has uploaded a version with a good recognizability that isn't also a deformation). --Francis Schonken (talk) 13:26, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
Is there a clear policy statement somewhere that "photoshopping = WP:OR"? And what percentage of "stretching" is that? The images are all instantly recognisable as Chopin. I can hardly percieve any stretching. The photoshopped image looks fine to me! Martinevans123 (talk) 13:40, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
Policy aside, I think the quest for historic accuracy is commendable. Here's a description of the photo: "ein blasses, von Ödemen ungesund aufgedunsenes Gesicht" ([7] – "... a pale face with a unhealthy edematic aspect ..."), then yes photoshopping out the edematic aspect seems to miss a target of improved recognisability by far. From the same description of the photograph: "zu schmächtig für die Kleider" ("too scanty for the clothes") is what set me to have a closer look at the photoshopped version that hasn't got that aspect, while the original has (that's where the stretching comes in as a deformation). --Francis Schonken (talk) 14:18, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
You're saying the photoshopped version stops his clothing looking baggy? And you're saying the photoshopping doesn't improve recognisability, on the basis of an external description of the photo? I was asking "is there any strict policy on this or not?" Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 14:25, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
"stops his clothing looking baggy" is maybe an exaggeration, less baggy, sure. Policy aside, because there isn't any applicable afaik, apart from WP:CONSENSUS. All I'm saying is that in my appreciation historic accuracy is one of many commendable arguments to weigh in when trying to find consensus on the lead image. But then, accurate reproduction of a photograph that today probably only has manifestations way darker than what the photographer saw when finished with it is questionable "historic accuracy" too. --Francis Schonken (talk) 14:44, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Are we OK then with using the "most famous" portrait as WP:LEADIMAGE, the Sand portrait in the Sand section, the full darkish photograph in the section where it chronologically belongs? --Francis Schonken (talk) 05:47, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

No we are not! Look at comments above - there is no consensus to make the changes you propose. You want the portrait in the lead - Michael Bednarek and myself want the photo - preferably in un-photoshopped form. Martinevans is satisfied with the unphotoshopped form. That's all we have here. Therefore, to be left alone. And as there was no consesnsus to move to the photoshopped image in the lead before Francis change it, really we should go back to the original image. -- Smerus (talk) 06:05, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
With all due respect I don't see much reasoned opposition against using the Sand portrait in the section where it chronologically and thematically belongs. Sure, it is possible to cling to one passing mentioning in the Decline section as opposed to a whole section dedicated to the person... I don't think we're far from consensus there.
Also for the photograph there's more discussion about which version to use then where to put it. I think the version discussions will be over soon once it's no longer used as a lead image.
...and no reasoned opposition against using the most famous portrait as lead image. Some personal preferences may play, but when it is thus clear which is the effigy most commonly associated with Chopin... --Francis Schonken (talk) 07:17, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
I concur. Nihil novi (talk) 07:24, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
What we see in the previous conversations is several editors, including me, expressing strong, reasoned preference for the original version of the photograph, which was already in the lead. Thus there was, and is, no consensus to change it and it should be restored. If you want an explicit statement vis à vis "photo or portrait", the photo has its own historical importance and a photo is generally preferable to a portrait as the lead image if both are available, since we see the person without someone else's artistic interpretation or style. The portrait by Maria is already perfectly positioned in the section discussing their engagement and next to her self-portrait, so the reader can visualise the couple while reading about them. Similarly, the Delacroix fragments are placed near each other in the article (I think the Sand portrait should go in the George Sand section, with the Chopin portrait a bit later). --Mirokado (talk) 11:03, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
as there was no consensus to move to the photoshopped image in the lead before Francis changed it, really we should go back to the original image. +1 -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 02:42, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Re. "a photo is generally preferable to a portrait as the lead image if both are available, since we see the person without someone else's artistic interpretation or style" – apart from the insult to all photographers (denying they could create artistic interpretation or style, which is particularily something the early 19th century photographers believed in) you can't have it both ways: defending the arch (artistic interpretation) and over-darkness (style) need to be kept for the lead image and then at the same moment contend it is "without" artistic interpretation or style.

Every photograph is an interpretation (light from the back? light from the front? props? background? ...?), every photograph expresses a style (Sepia or B/W? etc). In this case the style (which also may be due to ageing of the material, and the reproduction of a reproduction which adds layers of interpretation and style) obfuscates the directness of the portrait (i.e. of the person pictured in the portrait).

I defend the most iconic portrait for the lead, letting external reliable sources decide on that (basicly: which portrait of Chopin is most often used in reliable sources? which should be standard procedure per the available guideline) – WP:NPOV, instead of wikipedians deciding which is the most "true" portrait based on their POV concepts of art & style, and all that. --Francis Schonken (talk) 07:39, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Francis, your 'defence' is simply WP:IDONTLIKEIT. On this thread, three editors disagree with you and one agrees. Repeating your arguments, however stridently, does not add to their strength.--Smerus (talk) 08:40, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
Pardon? The "photo has no artistic interpretation & style" argument was used for the first time, I replied to it for the first time, because, yeah, that was the first real content counterargument on the matter (however flawed in its superficiality).
So no, there's no WP:IDONTLIKEIT in my argument, it's all about letting *external* reliable sources decide. --Francis Schonken (talk) 08:50, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia articles are written by editors; they make choices – what material to present and how to present it. That's what an encyclopedia is. A mere collection of factoids from external sources is what Google presents. There is no support at all for the current lead image, which was introduced by Francis. So, for a start, the status quo ante should be restored immediately (see also WP:BRD, not WP:BDR). Then we can argue about the merits of the portrait by Maria Wodzińska or the cropped Delacroix, or any other. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 14:05, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

As per above I have now restored the lead image to the status quo ante before Francis's unilateral decision.--Smerus (talk) 14:46, 25 March 2015 (UTC)