Everything is Gray
OK, this is what this painting of Versailles looks like now:
This is what it looked like before. The colors are much brighter and the overall effect is less "realistic."
Now here's the new version of the painting with the saturation dropped 50% in Photoshop:
It looks more "realistic" but an artist has to make these sort of aesthetic decisions for him or herself. An easy trick to make a painting seem more photographic is to gray down the color. Add black and white paint to every color without exception. You almost can't go too far. Paints tent to be unnaturally bright. Take color samples in Photoshop if you don't believe me. That green is really gray.
Versailles is such a surrealistic landscape that it always looks unnatural in paintings. What's with the French and those square trees?
This figure painting juxtaposes the pale, white model against the deep black background. It's suppose to appear bright like a jewel. The window is the only object besides the figure itself and has been added for both composition and mood.