Investigating the art collections of artists, revealing how the paintings they owned influenced their creativity.
Joshua Reynolds wrote that 'possessing portraits by Titian, Van Dyck, Rembrandt' was 'the best kind of wealth'. His collection had a profound influence on his own practice; he too would create multiple self-portraits, obsessing over how to represent his image on canvas.
Reynolds is one of the subjects of this exhibition exploring the connection between painters and the paintings they acquired. Five further sections are devoted to the collections of Lucian Freud, Matisse, Thomas Lawrence, Degas and Van Dyck. While each work featured is significant in its own right, its association with a second artist adds an extra layer of fascination and intrigue.
Artists' motivations for collecting were multifarious – from scholarly interest to a show of support, a canny investment to an artistic obsession. Yet their choice of paintings is deeply telling; for example while Freud chose a master of the past (Corot), Matisse focused on his contemporary (Degas).
Each of the artists' collections is shown alongside examples of their own work, in order to make the parallels explicit.
Yayoi Kusama, Sean Scully, Simon Fujiwara, Mark Wallinger and others discuss the works that have influenced them in the summer edition of Art Quarterly.