Odilon Redon, The Chariot of Apollo," c.1912; Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York.
There are several paintings in the Apollo series by Odilon Redon, but the reproduction below is clearly a modern interpretation of the one above. In this case, the modern version has gone way overboard in reimagining the color scheme, taking the ethereal look of the original and transforming it into something much more intense and aggressive. In my opinion, reproductions should always be marked as such, but in any event, a warning like that surely is essential when the recent version completely ignores the palette of the original.
Highly altered version of a work by Odilon Redon.
Bloopers, Fakes & Mistakes
Pierre Bonnard, The White Cat, 1894; ©RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski.
If the title of a painting says "White Cat" and you're looking at a yellow cat, be cautious — it's either a title mix-up or you're viewing an altered copy. It seems that a lot of art images appear overly yellow, as though someone intentionally favored yellow when editing, or failed to compensate for color distortions in a poor-quality photo. In any case, the image above, presumably much more accurate, is from the Musée d'Orsay, Paris, where the work is located. Sadly, the altered version below obscures the beautiful detail of the original.
Altered version of a work by Pierre Bonnard.
Copywriting & Consultations
Maurits Cornelis Escher, Three Worlds, lithograph, 1955.
Art lovers new to Escher's work might not realize that "Three Worlds" was originally conceived and produced as a monotone print, and that any colored versions they might see online are by definition modern reproductions. The contemporary version below appears to be a photo of a modern painting, but has been appearing under Escher's name, without any information about its modern-day source or the medium used. It would be helpful if recently created updates were labeled clearly as modern interpretations, so that viewers would be less likely to think they're looking at a famous artist's authentic output.
Modern artwork, based on a b/w lithograph by M.S. Escher.
Bloopers, Fakes & Mistakes
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