Painters' Paintings From Freud to Van Dyck Anne Robbins

Publication date:
15 Jun 2016
National Gallery London
96 pages: 273 x 229mm
70 color illus.

In this intriguing book, Anne Robbins explores the little-known history of artists collecting paintings. Focusing on the collections of Freud, Matisse, Degas, Leighton, Watts, and Van Dyck, she assesses the ways painters benefitted from owning someone else’s work, their motivations for collecting, and how the history of a painting’s ownership influences our own view of both the artist and the work. 
Robbins investigates paintings as the sources of creative inspiration, and even their use in teaching theories of art. She also examines how painters acquired the paintings they desired, whether through auction, dealerships, gift or exchange, and how they cared for the works: storing them, displaying them, and, in some cases, flaunting them for self-promotion. 
Robbins ultimately argues that the acts of acquiring art and of art making evolve in tandem—there are rich, multilayered connections between works owned and works painted. 

Anne Robbins is associate curator of Post-1800 paintings at the National Gallery, London.