There is a long tradition amongst artists of studying master artists from the past. Artists as impressive and diverse as Michelangelo, Rubens, Rembrandt and Picasso all followed this path. Normally I wouldn't presume to put myself in such exalted company, but here I will, not in any sense by comparing my modest skills with theirs, but in recognition that they, like me, also looked to the past to further their knowledge, skill and understanding in a hopeful quest toward mastery.
I should perhaps also say that my aim is not to copy every brushstroke of these great works, but rather making a general approximation of a work that I find inspirational for one reason or another. Some will inspire and excite for the beauty of their composition, others for the qualities of the colour and light, more still the subject matter and others for that strange interplay between a figure and background, and how the artist chose to marry the two. The idea for me will be to closely examine just how a painting is made up, and in so doing endeavour to unlock some of their secrets with the hope later to inject some of that magic back into my own original work. I hope.