Happy to try an earlier version of Gnome, but I only ever install using Synaptic and the current repositories, so I haven't a clue how to install anything but the current Gnome-desktop (assuming that's what we're talking about here).
If you could give me some guidance, I'll have a go.
ON EDIT: Whoops, sorry. You're talking about versions of Irfanview, not Gnome.
I'll go searching now . . .
ON FURTHER EDIT. OK, I found and downloaded Irfanview3.97, Reconfigured Wine, inserted the file Mfc.dll into the Wine/drive_c/windows/system32 folder; double-clicked to install Irfanview 3.97, chose my options, completed the installation. I thought for a minute it might work because for the first time the proper icon for Irfanview appeared on my desktop, but when I ran Irfanview and opened a .jpg file, I got the same white rectangle and distorted image below.