I’ve been finding this paintings-choosing business a bit frustrating, because in the spirit of the poll, I’m limiting myself to paintings in British collections, and many of the finest paintings I’ve ever seen in London were in temporary exhibitions. So you’ll just have to imagine all the El Grecos and Matisses and Whistlers I’m not including here.
Anyway, on to Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy by David Hockney. I think Hockney is a genuinely great artist. He’s done a lot of stylistic flitting over the years, and not all his work is equally successful, but the best of it is fabulous. The use of light, colour and composition remind me of Vermeer – they have very different palettes and rather subject matters, with Hockney generally favouring exterior scenes, but they both produce paintings of everyday scenes that have a poised, luminous quality. I went for Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy, although if I wasn’t restricted to paintings in the UK I’d be tempted by various others including this one.