Internet: Monet for nothing

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The Independent Culture
By Maxton Walker

Some things were just meant to be. Take the Monet exhibition at the Royal Academy for example. It deals almost entirely with work produced about a century ago, but the paintings, with their abstract shapes and subtle colours, translate surprisingly well to an electronic medium. The best current Monet website is based at the the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, ( and is actually a site devoted to the RA exhibition when it was being shown in Boston before Christmas. It contains an excellent potted history of the painter's life at the time he was producing the work in question and is an excellent place to visit before going to the exhibition itself.

But Monet isn't the only painter who translates well to the Internet. Seurat, for example, is excellent, basically because as one Internet buff pointed out recently, he paints in low resolution. Perfect for slightly dodgy monitors. Another artist who for some quirk of optics makes an excellent transition to on-line viewing is Edward Hopper, whose The Lighthouse at Two Lights (above) can be found at major/h/hopper.htm where the cold, faded light of his most celebrated urban paintings come across extremely well. The electronic revolution has not been so kind to the muddy, aged, earthy palettes of the Old Masters such as Rembrandt and Vermeer, however, which are not best served by the web.

Olympic games

The Olympics aren't often in the news at this period of the game's four-year cycle. And they probably don't want to be either. The Atlanta Olympics took place before the Internet revolution had taken hold. This meant that that the organisers really didn't have the motivation or resources to develop the medium fully. If you want to keep tabs on the unfolding controversy, by far the best source of up-to-date information is Sportsweb, Reuter's sports website ( which is both impartial and extremely fast with news. However, the Internet has far more than that to offer Olympic Games enthusiasts. An excellent place to start is the Ancient Olympic Games Virtual Museum ( which includes an excellent section on the history of the games. It also has a fantastic page of stories recounting some of the historically significant highlights including the first time a woman watched the games (which she had to do by disguising herself as a man). The current Sydney Olympics controversy, understandably, isn't particularly well covered on the organisation's official website but the pages ( cover most of the logistical information about the Sydney 2000 games.

Jaqueline du Pre classicalnet/artists/dupre/ dupre.html

If you want a fresh look behind the controversy over the portrayal of cellist Jaqueline du Pre in the film Jackie And Hilary, then you might be disappointed; much of the web-based information about du Pre has been inspired or taken from the film, and it serves, if nothing else, as an insight into how the Internet can be a derivative medium.