“Works of art are models you are to imitate, and at the same time rivals you are to combat.”
- Sir Joshua Reynolds
These are the words that inspired one of the most interesting exhibitions in London this summer; Painter's Paintings at the National Gallery. I've often thought of the artistic influences of painters, but never before had I really considered what paintings dominated the spaces in which they existed. Which works of art were so important that they had to own them rather than admire them from afar? Which paintings were so fundamentally a part of their artistic development that they felt they needed to be constantly surrounded by them, to live in a constant state of wonder, to strive towards them?