In 1892, Renoir was commissioned by the French government to produce a painting for the newly established "Museum of Living Artists" at the Luxembourg Palace. Author Francesca Castellani says that Renoir then went through a period of stylistic indecision, executing no fewer that seven versions of "Girls at the Piano." The very idea of a commission paralyzed him and made him lose his self confidence.
In a much smaller way, I also experienced a crisis of self doubt while working on my most recent portrait commission. Unlike Renoir's seven canvases, I only produced three. And though mine were all of the same little girl, they were three different poses. What to do with the other two canvases now that the "Young Girl in Red Cowboy Hat" is finished? Well, re-work them....again. Yesterday and today I worked on this painting for the gazillionth time.
There's just a little more work to do before the third painting is finished. Or, it may never be finished. Time will tell.