If you happen to find yourself strolling through Trafalgar Square in London and a sudden overwhelming desire conspires within your breast to enter the hallowed halls of the British National Gallery, succumb to the temptation. There, from June 23 through to September 4, 2016, you will be able to see Painters’ Paintings: From Freud to Van Dyck. Now in some ways the thought of pairing up pictures seems to have swept through the curatorial world but the bee’s knees of this movement has in my mind come to fruition in London.

There, some 80 works of art which once belonged to great artists themselves are on display paired up with work by the artist that owned the painting. As Sir Joshua Reynolds wrote, “Works of art are models you are to imitate, and at the same time rivals you are to combat.”

The paintings are divided up into a series of case studies devoted to a particular painter-collector: Freud, Matisse, Degas, Leighton, Watts, Lawrence, Reynolds and Van Dyck.

Summer 2016

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