User talk:Iridescent

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The arbitration committee "assuming good faith" with an editor.

If I start a conversation on your talk page, I'm watching it; reply on your talk page.

If you start a conversation here, I'll reply here
, so make sure you watch this page.

How Arbcom Works: part 1

Improving Etty[edit]

Hello! Thanks for your detailed response on @Johnbod:'s talkpage. The Wrestlers was almost certainly rephotographed with colour calibration in advance of the gallery reopening on 1/08/2015. I am trying to get access to this copy in advance of the normal release process (at which point it will appear on the collections page: The Wrestlers on the YMT Online Collection). There are also a number of William Edward Frost's paintings in the online collection that currently lack accessible images.

How useful might Etty's sketches and works on paper be? There's one on Commons already and one by William Holman Hunt of Etty sketching: Works on paper in the York Art Gallery. A collections search indicates that there are nearly 700 more that might be photographed but may have dubious quality. If particular examples would be really useful it might be fun to hunt them down.

It would be great if Etty or related articles could hit TFA around early August as the gallery reopens? Let me know if there's anything else I might help with? Cheers PatHadley (talk) 16:12, 4 June 2015 (UTC)

PatHadley, I can try to get William Etty up to FA status by August 1, but it would be cutting it fine. Because the existing article is so poor there's nothing to build on, it will need to be written from scratch which I'd estimate will take around a month, and the FAC process will take a minimum of two-three weeks and probably longer as the article will be quite long, so people are more likely to spot issues. That pushes an earliest-possible promotion date to late July, which is cutting it very fine.
Unfortunately none of the three articles completed so far (Sirens, Destroying Angel and Candaules) are in the YAG, so they're not ideal. I'll ask the TFA schedulers (pinging Brianboulton, Crisco 1492 and Dank) to avoid scheduling any of those for the next couple of months to allow us to run something at the start of August without prompting "you're featuring too much Etty" complaints. If all else fails, we can always run Sirens, which is such a striking image it will almost certainly get quite a lot of pageviews, and will hopefully drum up some interest in Etty even though the painting itself is on display in the Auld Enemy over the Pennines.
Benaiah
Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball
The Wrestlers
Venus and her Satellites
In the meantime I'll try to get one of the works currently in YORAG through FAC in time. It will probably be one of the four to the right, as of the Etty works in the YAG collection they're going to be the ones it will be easiest to get a decent-sized article out of; if you or any talk page watchers have a particular preference do let me know. If I can arm-twist a TFA delegate into running Venus and Her Satellites under its older name of The Toilet of Venus and crop the image for the main page slot down to just the central tableau of naked women, it will light up Reddit and Twitter and should get around 100,000–200,000 pageviews, but it will also generate a firestorm of complaints that will make this argument look small, since some people take great offence at any effort to inject any element of populism on to the main page, especially the hallowed TFA slot. Aside from that, The Wrestlers or Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball are probably the ones which will connect best with Wikipedia's audience; Benaiah looks a little dated to the modern eye, and British audiences are unlikely to get Biblical references without explanation. Unfortunately, while YORAG probably has the most significant collection of Etty's works, the collection is surprisingly short of paintings in the "Great women of history and literature who have accidentally mislaid their clothes" style for which he's known today, so whatever we go with is going to be slightly unrepresentative.
Speaking of Venus and her Satellites, if you get the chance can you see if YORAG can upload a copy of their version of Venus and her Satellites? The version currently on Commons is the one now on display in Ponce; the YORAG version is similar but has certain differences, particularly in the sky and the shading of the figures. (If need be I can copy it from their website—I can't imagine they'll object—but uploading images taken from UK gallery websites without asking permission has caused a degree of unpleasantness in the past.)
Regarding sketches, they'd probably be more useful for the articles on individual works. An example that immediately springs to mind is in Candaules, where I mention that the central figure was one he'd sketched many times before; an illustration of a sketch predating the painting in the same pose would make the point well. The Art & Controversy book has quite an extensive section on his sketches—I'll see if there's anything mentioned in there that would be particularly useful. What would be handy is more pictures of Etty; at the moment we only have Holman Hunt's sketch, the 1844 photo & Adamson's painting from it, and Etty's 1823 self portrait. (Etty also made a self-portrait from the 1844 photo, but it's inferior in quality to Adamson's so there's no point using it.) We don't have any pictures that I'm aware of showing him in the 1830s, which is the period in which he was most active.
Sirens
Andromeda
I am almost certain these are four images of the same woman
Another thing it would be nice to have would be some preliminary sketches, if there are any, for Sirens and Andromeda; I am virtually certain that these show the same model in four different poses, and think it's quite likely that Andromeda began life as a study for Sirens; preliminary sketches that show the Sirens' faces would prove that one way or the other. (What would be really nice would be to have a name for her—it never feels right just saying "the model" like they're interchangeable objects—but I suspect there may be no record of that. Treating life-class models as important people in their own right rather than as disposable props was a practice that only really began with the Pre-Raphaelites.) Despite the fact that there's been very little written about it, I'm determined at some point to create some kind of article on Andromeda; of all Etty's works it's the one that's looks most strikingly modern (probably because she's not shown in either an awkward Academy Life Class pose, or in a reference to a piece of literature which is no longer studied, and if you ignore the fact that she's chained up and wrapped in cellophane the model is much more natural-looking than most of Etty's women). – iridescent 17:54, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
I would be able to get a general article on Toilet of Venus as a subject up, we have a Commons category. Johnbod (talk) 19:39, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
Just as long as you make it a minimum of 1500 characters of readable prose, so "Did you know …that Mary Richardson went for a slash in the Toilet of Venus" can go on the main page. – iridescent 21:36, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
Nice one, though I'm not sure Americans have that idiom - perhaps just as well. Johnbod (talk) 15:37, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
"…that a elderly musician was pictured with eight naked women in the Toilet of Venus?" – iridescent 16:31, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
Keep 'em coming! Is that Homer? If not blind he might easily get distracted - Etty stretches even my attenuated sense of decorum. On reflection, I'm amazed that no 5th-rate band or singer has called an album or track Toilet of Venus, & so it's still red. That's rare in iconography. Johnbod (talk) 16:58, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
Ask and ye shall receive.
The wording of the first one should actually be "…that Mary Richardson popped into the Toilet of Venus for a slash before joining the British Union of Fascists", which is factually accurate and unifies the Main Page obsessions of Nazis, poor-quality puns and the gender gap.
As I think I've said previously, the more I see of Etty the more I'm coming to warm to him. He does seem to have sincerely believed that he was doing the world a service by painting as many norks as possible and illustrating the magnificence of God's creation, and never to have understood just why people found his habits of visiting morgues to dissect corpses and of asking people to take their clothes off for him to be odd. – iridescent 17:05, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes, how come they haven't made the film yet? Johnbod (talk) 17:32, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
Halkett Boat Cloak in use cropped.jpg
Heh, if I can write an article which inspires an opera, maybe I can inspire a film as well. (If someone were filming a Wikipedia article, the one to watch would be Halkett boat which would be wonderful animated; Lieutenant Halkett and his umbrella-propelled inflatable coat sounds like something from The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.) – iridescent 17:48, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

The Wrestlers[edit]

OK, I've written The Wrestlers to try to ensure we have something in the YORAG collection ready for the 1 August reopening; once the FAC for The Destroying Angel is either archived or promoted, I'll nominate it. If anyone has any suggestions/improvements to make, please do as given the glacial pace of WP:FAC this is going to be a tight deadline; pinging Victoriaearle, Ceoil, Eric Corbett (this one is of male subjects so shouldn't have any GG implications), Giano, Johnbod, Kafka Liz, ArchReader and anyone else who might have an interest in Victorian high-kitsch. It's a bit of a difficult subject, as it's so poorly documented it's impossible to be sure what the artist's intentions were so of necessity there's a "it might be social commentary on the struggle between black and white people in British society, or it might just be that the model happened to be black that day" element. Plus, Etty also painted a completely unrelated picture also called The Wrestlers (nothing at all out of order going on in that picture, you just have a dirty mind), so there's an issue as to which painting any reference to it pre-1947 is referring to. – iridescent 09:38, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

OK. Woah.... First of all, huge respect for firing off such a brilliant article so quickly! I'll be letting the curators know and hopefully we'll get a little feedback from them. I'll definitely be getting hold of the latest images of all YAG's Ettys for speedy upload. Meanwhile, you are more than welcome to download any image from YMT's online collection (image policy here), as you saw on the Hunt sketch, there's a Commons template for tagging these images. His sketches and preparatory works that are in the 'Works on paper' collection might take a little longer to dig out and get snapped (by Christmas hopefully?). I'll mention Sirens, Andromeda and Candaules in particular. Also, we've begun our first experiments with stitching photographs for super-high-resolution results (eg, Snyder's Game Stall). Is it worth doing this for particular Ettys to see details, paint texture or anything that else worthy of explication? All your hard work is massively appreciated so there's no need to bust a gut for 1 August!? Perhaps it'd be healthier to aim for TFA on the death anniversary on 13 November? Let me know if there's anything else I can do! PatHadley (talk) 09:28, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
PS - you'll see that I've replaced the YourPaintings version of Study of a black boy with a much higher-res version from the online collection. I know the quality is variable but just want to reiterate that there is a great deal on there (Search for 'Etty' throws up 1241 items) that you can download and transfer to Commons as needed. Cheers, PatHadley (talk) 16:02, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for getting back. Regarding curators, it's probably worth reminding them that if they're not already familiar with Wikipedia's odd customs, it's probably best to raise concerns on the talkpage. In my experience, the leading experts in any given field generally find Wikipedia's reliable source culture quite jarring, since things they know are true are omitted from the article. The Destroying Angel is a good example; there's a figure in it which I'm almost certain is misidentified as a bacchante and is actually a nod to Liberty Leading the People, but because the only reliable source I can find that mentions it identifies her as a bacchante, that's what we call her.
The Ettys I can think of that would particularly benefit from scanning at super-size would be Sirens, (which would probably be a pig to photograph at very high quality, since it's too big and too fragile to fit on a flatbed) to be able to show the joins where the restoration took place, and the loads-of-small-figures ones like Cleopatra, Youth/Pleasure, Destroying Angel and The World Before the Flood where people might want to zoom in on individual characters—but none of the five are in the YORAG. Of works in YORAG which there's a realistic chance of writing a stand-alone article on, A Family of the Forest, Elizabeth Potts and Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball are probably the ones which would most benefit from an extreme-close-up treatment. (The problem is that, while York may have the largest collection of his works, the ones in the Tate and Walker have much more written about them, and consequently are easier from a Wikipedia point of view.)
It might be useful to have one of Etty's Elgin Marbles sketches as well (some of them are reproduced in the Art and Controversy catalogue so the scans have presumably been made, even though they don't appear on the website). There's no rush on any of this; the paintings important enough to warrant stand-alone articles are all either already on Commons, or easily available. (Picture quality is a nice luxury, but it isn't essential. If you watch people using Wikipedia in the real world, one of the first things you notice is how many people will crane in to look at images close-up because they don't realise clicking opens them in large size.)
I'm aware there was a better quality copy of Black Boy, but the YORAG website was down at the time and I figured the lack of quality didn't really matter given that it was just intended to illustrate a minor point about his having a history of painting non-white subjects. Since the alternatives were The Missionary Boy and Indian Girl, which IMO are among the most unpleasantly ugly works of the entire 19th century, I wanted this one if possible, and rushed it in to get the article up and running in as near-complete a state as possible.
If Wikipedia's going to run with a specific date, the reopening of the gallery is a much more pertinent date. His death anniversary isn't really of interest to anyone and presumably isn't going to see any kind of commemoration, whereas for the gallery reopening he'll presumably be covered in at least the local press. (Plus it's during the holidays, so might encourage some of York's flood of tourists to poke their heads in.) Date connections aren't really that important—he's not a figure like Shakespeare where his birthday genuinely is recognised. – iridescent 17:39, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
I've also cleared out the worst of the nonsense from William Etty. It's still an atrociously bad article which is going to feel the benefit of the WP:TNT approach fairly soon, but at least it's not full of outright lies now. – iridescent 18:53, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
All looking excellent! I've just shown the curator the Wrestlers article and she was very impressed and thrilled to learn that Etty might make the front page for August 1st. She's given me the list (from memory) of which Etty's will be on display in the new gallery:

Not sure how those might fit into your plans. I'll do my best to see if we can get the Elgin sketches digitised! Cheers, PatHadley (talk) 16:01, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

Break: Which paintings can realistically be worked up to full articles[edit]

Excellent news—there's always the risk with something like this that the curators will think the emphasis is wrong (or worse, the basic facts); or, that they'll be annoyed that Wikipedia is potentially eating into their own gift shop sales if they're planning to sell "about this picture" pamphlets.
There should certainly be something Etty-related run as TFA on or near 1 August, since even if The Wrestlers fails to gain FA status in time Sirens is ready and Destroying Angel should be barring unforeseen circumstances, so if need be one of them can run. (August 2 will almost certainly be taken by a football article to coincide with the Charity Shield, but to the best of my knowledge nothing else is lined up for August 1.)
I can do Preparing For a Fancy Dress Ball to a shortish full-length article (probably about the same length as Sirens), and Mlle Rachel and Male Nude with Staff to "short article but respectable enough that it won't look out of place standing alone" status. Monk Bar is probably a lost cause, since to the best of my knowledge there's never been anything substantive written on it (although I'm certain that enough has been written about the York city walls to write a stand-alone Monk Bar article which it could illustrate). It would probably be possible to squeeze out a stand-alone article on Mary, Lady Templeton, after Thomas Lawrence but I don't think there would be much point, since it's a slavish copy of the original which the young Etty painted as a training exercise, and it would make more sense to have a single Copies made by William Etty of works by other artists list/article.
From a Wikipedia viewpoint, the ones which could realistically be brought up to FA level at present (aside from the four already done) are:
  • Benaiah (YORAG)
  • The Bridge of Sighs (YORAG)
  • Britomart Redeems Faire Amoret (Tate)
  • The Combat (National Gallery of Scotland, engraving in YORAG)
  • The Dawn of Love (Russell-Cotes)
  • Male Nude With Arms Up-Stretched (YORAG)
  • Musidora (Tate)
  • Pandora Crowned (Leeds)
  • Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball (YORAG)
  • The Triumph of Cleopatra (Lady Lever)
  • Venus and her Satellites (Two versions, one in Ponce and one in YORAG)
  • The Warrior Arming (Manchester)
  • The World Before the Flood (Southampton, with a much rougher version in YORAG)
  • Youth/Pleasure (Tate)
and possibly also Prometheus (Lady Lever), Bathers Surprised by a Swan (Tate) and Venus and her Doves (Manchester).
The problem is that (per my comments above) the YORAG collection is somewhat unrepresentative, because of how the collection was assembled; the paintings for which he's best known (the big glossy history paintings filled with gratuitous nudity) were bought by industrialists and ultimately found their way into the Tate or the municipal galleries of the big mill towns; YORAG's collection is heavily skewed towards his early and late works, which haven't had the same level of coverage and thus aren't as easy to cover from a Wikipedia viewpoint.
Male Nude With Arms Up-Stretched
Elizabeth Potts
(For what it's worth, I think if YORAG is only going to pick five works from the collection to display, Male Nude with Staff and Mary, Lady Templeton are odd choices. Male Nude With Arms Up-Stretched and Elizabeth Potts are far more visually striking examples of a male nude oil sketch and a formal portrait of a bad-tempered-looking woman, respectively. I agree entirely with including Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball, which I think is arguably his greatest work despite its relative obscurity, can see the obvious local-interest reason for Monk Bar despite its insipidness, and can kind of understand Mlle Rachel as it's so radically different from his usual style. Any Etty exhibit without a single female nude or history painting does seem slightly odd to me, though, especially given that YORAG has Venus and her Satellites, the apotheosis of "gratuitous female nudity in an overblown mythological history painting", in its collection.) – iridescent 23:54, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
I tend to agree, but the Venus takes up a lot of wall (the York version is bigger than Ponce, is that right?). Johnbod (talk) 00:39, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
The York version is 78.7 by 110.4 cm (31.0 by 43.5 in) – it's not exactly a miniature, but it's not a behemoth like Sirens or The Combat. The Ponce version is very slightly larger at 80.6 by 111 cm (31.7 by 43.7 in); the discrepancy is probably accounted for by the framing rather than any difference in the canvas itself. For comparison, Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball is over three times the size, at 173 by 150 cm (68 by 59 in). – iridescent 00:50, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Fair enough, though of course it's the width that is key when hanging. Johnbod (talk) 15:02, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
There's always the cop-out the V&A and Tate have both followed in recent years, of saying that hanging salon-style is "more authentic to the period" and cramming the paintings virtually floor-to-ceiling like bathroom tiles. While I do entirely get that having as many works as possible on display is A Good Thing since when you have a rotating display it means people are more likely to see what they came to see, it does sometimes feel like the museum equivalent of prostitute's cards in a phone box. – iridescent 00:52, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Well yes, although there's also the National Gallery's approach of hanging at their standard close peering, school party & wheelchair friendly height works which they know perfectly well were designed, and the perspective aligned, to be seen from 10, 15 or 20 feet below. And don't even get me started on exhibitions of historic sculpture at the Royal Academy. Johnbod (talk) 03:36, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
I would rationalise the NG's treatment of something like The Ambassadors as the painting equivalent of when a science museum intentionally exposes part of a mechanism so visitors can see how it works. There's always going to be a loss of authenticity in the settings, given that most of the things were painted on the understanding they'd be seen by dim flickering light. – iridescent 08:52, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball[edit]

PatHadley, Johnbod—in light of the above I've worked Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball up to what I consider FA standard. Do either of you (or anyone else watching this page) have any strong opinion as to whether Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball or The Wrestlers would be preferable, given that the timescale means there's likely only to be time to get one through FAC in time for the gallery opening? My preference is tilting towards Fancy Dress Ball if that one's going to be on display and Wrestlers won't be, but I can see arguments the other way as Wrestlers is a more visually striking image so might generate more page-views. I'll nominate one or the other very soon, so if anyone has and good reasons why one or the other should be chosen, speak now or forever hold your peace. (I've also nominated Fancy Dress Ball at Featured Picture Candidates despite my general distaste for FPC, as I feel it easily qualifies and now the painting is the subject of an article, the image has an obvious encyclopedic value.) – iridescent 11:29, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

I'm also leaning towards Fancy Dress. One could argue that the important genre of female portraits is under-represented on WP, though so of course is inter-racial wrestling. There's always Black History Month, October in the UK, for the Wrestlers. Johnbod (talk) 13:21, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes, at the moment the only female-only "portrait" (loosely) FAs are I think: Drowning Girl, Madonna in the Church, The Magdalen Reading, Portrait of a Lady (van der Weyden), Portrait of a Young Girl (Christus), Rokeby Venus, Statue of Liberty, Three Beauties of the Present Day. Shades of Caryl Churchill's Top Girls , & certainly a group that could do with a 19th-century addition. Johnbod (talk) 14:52, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
Is that really all? We surely at least ought to have some Madonnas and Queen Elizabeths knocking about. I ought to be able to work Musidora and The Dawn of Love up as well, which I suppose technically qualify as female portraits, although I'm not sure they're exactly what the GGTF have in mind.
Fancy Dress Ball it is, I think; quite aside from the fact that I think it's both a more engaging painting and a more engaging article, it works better from the point of view of drumming up interest in York Art Gallery since it includes three other works currently in YORAG, even if they're not on display. (The more I see of Elizabeth Potts, the fonder I'm becoming of it. Her expression is right up there with the Mona Lisa as a tabula rasa—you can legitimately describe her as happy, sad, excited and bored.) Fancy Dress is probably more likely to create interest from people who'll go on to visit the gallery, too; Wrestlers would probably deter as many people as it attracts. – iridescent 23:55, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
Fwiw, I really like Fancy Dress Ball and would go with that. I'll be sending the Annunciation (Memling) at some point, when I'm in FAC mood again, but as Johnbod says, it's a group that could use a 19th cent addition. Ping me on my page when you nom, and if I'm around I'll review it. I don't have FAC on watch, so haven't a clue what's going on there. Victoria (tk) 00:29, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Now live at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball/archive1. – iridescent 00:40, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
That's good. On female portrait FAs, I missed the artistically dreadful Streatham portrait (of Lady Jane Grey), bringing the total to 9. The scary thing is that 5 of those are mainly User:Ceoil (plus Victoria, myself, et al.), so without him ..... I haven't counted things like Portrait Diptych of Dürer's Parents, though of course one of those is just a female portrait. Ceoil & Victoria again. Johnbod (talk) 03:46, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
The Streatham portrait is at least no worse than the NG Lady Jane Grey. AV Club does a good series on "hate songs" (typical target Lennon's vapid "Imagine"); Paul Delaroche might roll in his grave if it ever becomes a series on paintings. Ceoil (talk) 04:13, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
If you'll forgive me coming over all Simon Cowell, the Delaroche wins on the important measures of whether people walking past stop to take a longer look, and whether people buy a poster in the gift shop. See also And When Did You Last See Your Father? (No article? Really?), Isabella and the Pot of Basil, The Lady of Shalott… (My personal "Imagine" would be "anything by Leonardo da Vinci". I am mystified by the pseudo-religious awe in which he's held—his paintings are without exception completely generic works of the Florentine tradition, but there seems to be an ongoing conspiracy to promote him as the greatest artist who ever lived. And Within Leonardo's own lifetime his fame was such that the King of France carried him away like a trophy and was claimed to have supported him in his old age and held him in his arms as he died. Interest in Leonardo has never diminished. The crowds still queue to see his most famous artworks, T-shirts bear his most famous drawing, and writers continue to marvel at his genius and speculate about his private life and, particularly, about what one so intelligent actually believed in. has a good claim to be the most ridiculously overblown paragraph on the whole of Wikipedia. This paragraph has somehow managed to survive for eight years) – iridescent 09:27, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure if its some weird oop north thing, but the Italian High Renaissance doesnt really work for me. The Lady of Shalott and that, well you can see why it appeals to passers by, nearly all of the paintings mentioned here have commonalities, tropes, that appeal to the sentimental. I'm not entirely immune, have a fondness for the Lady of Shalott, that I can rationalise, but am not proud of. Am much more tyrannical when it comes to music; Shellac? Lightweights. Ceoil (talk) 17:50, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────It can't just be sentimentality, or the walls of the world would be papered with Millaises (Millae?). There's something very specific to present-day England (you don't see it in Scotland or Ireland to anything near the same extent) that reacts to the combination of ginger subject and a primarily green or turquoise background; almost all the gift-shop favourites from Beata Beatrix to Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose to Chatterton to The Last of England to The Hireling Shepherd seem to have this in common. (I just did a quick dip sample of major English galleries' Wikipedia pages looking at their "highlights" section, and all but the Tate conform to this, and given that they have an entire room full of Rossetti and Waterhouse they're clearly in denial.) I'm sure there's a thesis in here somewhere—a cultural legacy of the whole Celtic Twilight fad of 100 years ago perhaps? – iridescent 19:36, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

Cracking stuff! Not sure what I can add at the moment while you're forging ahead - I'm at the limits of my art history knowledge and the curators are so buried in set up that they can't spare a moment to go through this. Having said that, they have personally passed on their support, thanks and awe! I.e: "Amazing work!" - "Great to see Etty getting attention" - "I wish I had time to write that!". They all understand the benefits of Wikipedia/OpenGLAM work and there are no issues with them feeling threatened. The next step for me will be to get the latest hi-res images of Etty's paintings up on to Commons (hopefully this Thursday, poss next Tuesday). I'm also going to advocate getting the works on paper (particularly the Elgin Marbles sketches) digitised in the autumn. Anything else? PatHadley (talk) 11:08, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
Musidora
Excellent news! We also have Musidora, Candaules, Fancy Dress Ball and The Wrestlers lined up waiting for their turn at WP:DYK, so there should be a steady stream of incoming traffic from the main page, particularly if Musidora runs with this rather eye-catching image. – iridescent 11:24, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
Johnbod, RexxS—since he might conceivably listen to one of you, can you tell Mabbett to knock this nonsense off? There is nothing contentious about a lead image width of 300px/upright=1.35, which is the recommended size for a lead image specified by VAMOS. Given that this is an article on a topic in which he's never shown the slightest interest, and that in the past few days he's edited Stonnington City Centre, Royal Society of Chemistry, Technetium-99m, Bidford-on-Avon, River Tame, West Midlands, AirTrain JFK, Samuel Lines, Concorde aircraft histories, Holdout (real estate), LAMP (software bundle), Birmingham Museum Collection Centre, Entomological Magazine, Supermarine Spitfire, Diane Gromala and Amos Smith—all of which have images the same width or larger, and none of which he's raised any concern about—I can only assume that this is a deliberate attempt to disrupt FAC. Even Gerda Arendt, who generally supports POTW, is saying in the FAC that if anything, the images in this article ought to be larger. (If he genuinely thinks 300px is too large, I can only imagine his reaction when he notices Witches' Sabbath.) – iridescent 15:58, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
He certainly won't listen to me (we've been round this track many times) and I expect RexxS agrees with him. The MOS on images has been somewhat contradictory & widely ignored for years. This is really all linked with the drive for infoboxes that Wikidata can pick up from. Johnbod (talk) 16:03, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Sigh. Touch wood, he'll give up of his own accord, since I have absolutely no desire to ever set metaphorical foot in WP:ARCA again. – iridescent 16:10, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
On the contrary, John, I agree with you. My poor old eyes need bigger images if I'm to make out the detail without having to keep on messing about with zooming. Can I say what a delightful article it is - and if anything I'd be arguing for a slightly larger image size, although I accept that it starts to become impractical on many mobile phones once you get past a certain point. Hope that helps --RexxS (talk) 21:56, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Large number of semi-naked people
The World Before the Flood at WP-default size
Thank you (both for intervening, and for your kind words). I tend to agree that if anything, the images ought to be a lot larger for a lot of these visual arts articles. Particularly with someone like Etty, who painted a lot of large-canvas works like The World Before the Flood where at Wikipedia default size the individual figures look like grains of rice; even at the MOS-approved maximum of 300px it's virtually incomprehensible. I can say with absolute certainty, having seen it for myself often enough, that many (perhaps most) Wikipedia readers are completely unaware that clicking on images enlarges them, and when confronted with an image will either jack up the zoom setting on their browser or press their noses to the screen. On something like Witches' Sabbath (The Great He-Goat), forcing the image even to the 300px MOS-approved maximum, let alone the WP defaults, will make it look like a brown smudge. – iridescent 20:21, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but then you have something like Beaune Altarpiece, which we (I, Victoria and Sarah) never managed to resolve. Also, I agree generally with RexxS' cmts re images and succinct pic descriptors. The temptation towards eye candy in arts articles is huge, as is the tendancy towards long, long captions. I usually find myself cutting down a fair few during pre FAC waves of self awarness and restraint. Followed by long, dark, winter nights wondering if I sold out, for a FA trinklet and one single main page day, to the man. Ceoil (talk) 23:55, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Sometimes the long captions make sense—someone just skimming over the article rather than reading word-for-word should be able to read the caption to any picture and understand "what is this a picture of, and why is it here?". Very long captions are certainly not exclusive to VA articles, although on VA topics there's sometimes more of a need to explain to the reader the significance of what they're seeing. – iridescent 12:58, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

Current state of play[edit]

PatHadley, barring unforeseen circumstances Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball will pass FAC by 1 August, so will be hopefully be TFA that day. The YORAG paintings included on it are Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball, Elizabeth Potts, Venus and her Satellites (albeit the Ponce and not the YORAG version) and Mlle Rachel. There will also be a steady stream of "Did you know" articles between now and then, starting tomorrow with Candaules and followed at roughly 4–5 day intervals by The Wrestlers, Fancy Dress Ball, Musidora, The World Before the Flood, Youth & Pleasure and The Combat. I'll try to get the bio up to at least a respectable level before 1 August, as at the moment it's really not fit for purpose. – iridescent 21:37, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

Fantastic stuff. I know that on Wikipedia the work is supposed to be it's own reward but I would really like to celebrate your incredible work on these articles and speedy, friendly discussion of the issues. Just a random thought - how about a Periscope tour with a curator? You could ask the questions and the rest of the world could tag along? If you're UK-based we could look into a trip to visit? Cheers, Pat
(PS - Sorry that the new versions of the images are still delayed but I'll get them up as soon as I have them.) PatHadley (talk) 12:23, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
I'd be reluctant to do anything that involves working closely with any institution, rather than at the present arms length. After the QRPedia/​Monmouthpedia/​Gibraltarpedia and Contribsx fiascos (fiascae?), the WMF will be taking a much dimmer view than they used to of anything with even the slightest hint of conflict of interest particularly when it looks like there's any potential involvement of Wikimedia UK (who it's fair to say are not at the top of Jimmy Wales's christmas card list right now). Presumably the last thing YORAG wants is to be the subject of multiple incoherent rants by the rabble of fruitcakes and loons who infest Jimmy Wales's talkpage, followed by their grand reopening being overshadowed by gloating "Wikipedia is corrupt and here's the proof" articles in the Guardian. (Possibly a statement of the obvious, but bear in mind that YORAG's very survival is dependent on the goodwill of a government in which Grant Shapps is an influential figure, so a public association with Wikipedia is possibly not something thet want to publicise.) I'm well aware that I'm still a hate figure among certain members of Wikipedia's lunatic fringe, who would welcome the chance to manufacture a conspiracy theory. (As those with long memories can attest, in the case of at least one member of said lunatic fringe the combination of "Thomas Gray" and "naked teenagers" on Youth and Pleasure is virtually guaranteed to be taken as a personal affront.) – iridescent 15:53, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

Bio done[edit]

Wikipedia now has a shiny new William Etty article in place and ready in time for the local papers to plagiarise use as a basis for their own writing in their coverage of the YORAG reopening. Re-pinging User:PatHadley, Victoriaearle, Ceoil, Johnbod, Kafka Liz, Lingzhi; do your worst. I'm aware that it's nudging the WP:TOOBIG limit, but IMO this is a topic that really shouldn't be split into separate "Early life" and "Later life" articles a la Ricky Ponting or Samuel Johnson, since such a key element is being able to see how his work changed over time, and how his later works relate to early works. (It's not unconscionably long; assuming User:The ed17/Featured articles by wiki text is correct, if it were to pass FAC today it would be the 147th-longest, and those above it include considerably less weighty topics such as Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, Adam Gilchrist, 2012–13 Michigan Wolverines men's basketball team and Ontario Highway 401.) Besides, the only natural break points are 1821 (which would only trim a tiny amount) and 1828 (which would mean a post-1828 article requiring such a long "story so far" section, it would effectively be a content fork).

It does intentionally break the all-hallowed WP:VAMOS in a few places, but I feel it's justified; with the monumental paintings like Sirens it really doesn't make sense to have images at default size (those sailors who look like tiny specks in the background are each around three feet high in the original), and the "bound captive" paintings I've intentionally placed looking out of the page as I think it suits the aesthetic better. – iridescent 19:15, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
Failed to ping earlier as the names were a cut-and-paste from my previous list, but Belle consider yourself pinged as well. – iridescent 23:16, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

Great stuff! I'm travelling at the moment so it will take a few days. An impressive wall of Ettys at the Lady Lever Art Gallery, 11 I think (including Cleopatra as below), which will put York to shame. I'm of course too early to see theirs though I'm there now. Johnbod (talk) 06:29, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
Amazing work! I understand your reservations from my previous offer but the relationship between WMUK, WMF, the community and this project has been overwhelmingly positive. If there's anything that we can do to celebrate your work, I'd be happy to find something you thought of as appropriate. Thanks again, PatHadley (talk) 09:11, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
Britomart Redeems Faire Amoret
Johnbod I've always thought that if you take them on their own terms as a museum of late 19th-century tastes, rather than a museum of art per se, Lady Lever and its less self-promoting southern twin are two of the best small museums in the world. Even kitch vileness like His Turn Next and The Kelpie kind of work in context, and some things like Jeunesse Doree or The Chosen Five would be celebrated as major works if they were in the Tate rather than tucked away in the unhip half of Merseyside or the arse end of Dorset. (When it comes to Etty, Lady Lever bizarrely hung on to tat like Aurora and Zephyr and his rejected cartoon for Prince Albert's shed, but flogged off probably the most important of all his works in their collection, Britomart Redeems Faire Amoret, to the Tate who promptly shoved it in storage for five decades. And yet, they give pride of place to Cymon & Iphigenia which vies with Dignity & Impudence to be the most tackily unpleasant artwork of 19th century England*.)
*Specifically England. When it comes to "charmlessly tacky", 19th century Scotland and Ireland were in a league of their own.
PatHadley Many thanks for the thought, but as I say I don't think I'd be comfortable getting too close to any institution. WMUK does some excellent work but I don't think anyone would dispute that WMUK's attitudes are currently very out of sync with the hivemind in San Francisco who currently call the shots and have very little fondness for WMUK which they consider (with some justification) an extremely loose cannon. WMUK doesn't make the rules, Jimmy and Lila do, and the rules as they currently stand are these, which I'd technically be in breach of if the YORAG cafe gave me a free bun. Just watchlist User talk:Jimbo Wales and WP:COIN for a while and see how often some variation of "someone who corrected a typo on this article two years ago once sat next to the subject on a bus" is raised and meets with a chorus of "burn the witch" approval from the self-appointed Defenders of the Wiki. (Johnbod can no doubt recall just how well the British Museum giving out prizes a few years ago for expanding articles on their exhibits went down.) The people within Jimbo's approved circle can and do get away with COI editing, but I am decidedly not in that circle. – iridescent 20:53, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Today's featured article/July 10, 2015[edit]

A summary of a Featured Article you nominated at WP:FAC will appear on the Main Page soon. Was there anything I left out you'd like to see put back in? - Dank (push to talk) 00:13, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

No problem with the blurb as it stands—Chelsea Bridge is interesting from an engineering viewpoint, as one of the few self-anchored suspension bridges in Europe, but in terms of architecture and history has always been overshadowed by Battersea Bridge and Albert Bridge next door and there's not much that's very interesting to say about it. – iridescent 09:46, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for that one, - love building bridges (family tradition) ;) --Gerda Arendt (talk) 05:40, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm not very fond of this one, either as a bridge or as an article (although Wandsworth Bridge is worse). Chelsea Bridge is quite boring, so the article reads like a dry engineering article rather than the combination of visual arts and social history I was aiming for with the bridge series. Its near-neighbour Battersea Bridge makes for a much more interesting story. – iridescent 14:55, 11 July 2015 (UTC)

DYK for Musidora: The Bather 'At the Doubtful Breeze Alarmed'[edit]


Very good article - bravo! Awien (talk) 11:40, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

Thanks! Do feel free to tell the idiot who thinks that "every article needs at least one left aligned image". – iridescent 13:47, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

DYK for Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball[edit]

 — Chris Woodrich (talk) 12:55, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

Incomplete DYK nominations[edit]

Symbol question.svg Hello! Your submission of Template:Did you know nominations/The Wrestlers (painting) at the Did You Know nominations page is not complete; see step 3 of the nomination procedure. If you do not want to continue with the nomination, tag the nomination page with {{db-g7}}, or ask a DYK admin. Thank you. DYKHousekeepingBot (talk) 00:54, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

Symbol question.svg Hello! Your submission of Template:Did you know nominations/The World Before the Flood at the Did You Know nominations page is not complete; see step 3 of the nomination procedure. If you do not want to continue with the nomination, tag the nomination page with {{db-g7}}, or ask a DYK admin. Thank you. DYKHousekeepingBot (talk) 00:54, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

Symbol question.svg Hello! Your submission of Template:Did you know nominations/Youth on the Prow, and Pleasure at the Helm at the Did You Know nominations page is not complete; see step 3 of the nomination procedure. If you do not want to continue with the nomination, tag the nomination page with {{db-g7}}, or ask a DYK admin. Thank you. DYKHousekeepingBot (talk) 00:54, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

Symbol question.svg Hello! Your submission of Template:Did you know nominations/The Combat: Woman Pleading for the Vanquished at the Did You Know nominations page is not complete; see step 3 of the nomination procedure. If you do not want to continue with the nomination, tag the nomination page with {{db-g7}}, or ask a DYK admin. Thank you. DYKHousekeepingBot (talk) 00:54, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

And this is why the robots are destined to lose the final conflict with humans. Explanation of what happened is here, for the benefit of everyone else who's been spammed with this notice—you will all be as shocked as I am to discover that it's the WMF's fault. – iridescent 07:46, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

DYK for Youth on the Prow, and Pleasure at the Helm[edit]

Thank you for your help (pass it on) Victuallers (talk) 12:01, 5 July 2015 (UTC)

DYK for The Wrestlers (painting)[edit]

Gatoclass (talk) 00:51, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

Introducing the new WikiProject Hampshire![edit]

Greetings!

The flag of Hampshire

I am happy to introduce you to the new WikiProject Hampshire! The newly designed WikiProject features automatically updated work lists, article quality class predictions, and a feed that tracks discussions on the 2,690 talk pages tagged by the WikiProject. Our hope is that these new tools will help you as a Wikipedia editor interested in Hampshire.

Hope to see you join! Harej (talk) 20:42, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

User:Harej, I have never been a member of WikiProject Hampshire, never shown the slightest interest in WikiProject Hampshire, and never to the best of my knowledge made a non-minor edit to an article relating to Hampshire. I have no idea how you've generated your mailing list, given that you haven't deigned to bother providing the standard "you are receiving this message because…" explanation, but please consider this an opt-out from any further spam of this nature; if I'm interested in a particular project, I am perfectly capable of watchlisting it myself. (Was this mass-mailing discussed anywhere? I can't imagine anyone considering it appropriate to spam non-members of a project just to notify them that the layout of that project's front page has changed.) – iridescent 14:21, 11 July 2015 (UTC)

DYK for The Combat: Woman Pleading for the Vanquished[edit]

Thanks for your help Victuallers (talk) 12:01, 12 July 2015 (UTC)

DYK for The World Before the Flood[edit]

Gatoclass (talk) 00:01, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

Norm Sartorius[edit]

Thanks, thanks, thanks. I am new, so I have a lot to learn. I get it now and will rewrite accordingly. I am glad to see you are working on behalf of the arts. Many fine craft and woodworker pages are pretty lame. It would be great to see those improve radically over time. Several craft curators, critics, and historians have commented on Sartorius, but hardly anyone ever says anything even slightly negative, unlike other fine arts. The print media tends to be positive and therefore sounds nothing but promotional. I get the idea now on how to cover the juried craft shows,awards, etc. I'll get to it tonight, after the day job. I appreciate your work on behalf of Wikipedia 130.160.143.223 (talk) 14:55, 27 July 2015 (UTC)