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vivienne westwood's favourite artists

“If you’re an art lover, you’re a freedom fighter,” Vivienne Westwood told i-D this weekend. “Paintings are like a window into another life – like reading a really good book. No other animals can represent reality in another form like that - it’s incredible. You can learn so much from art.” She went on to discuss the importance of always doing more, always learning. “I’ve got a friend, Tracey Emin. She’s a very talented person but how can she be so satisfied if she keeps doing the same thing? Why doesn’t she do more? She could! She’s very rich! She could retire and learn how to do something really wonderful. I’m sorry Tracey dear… I do love her but she could do better.” On that note, we asked the original punk for her all time favourite artists…

Related topics

Text Francesca Dunn
Photography Juergen Teller
Styling Vivienne Westwood

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    “There’s a painting in the national gallery by Henri Rousseau that looks quite primitive but in fact it’s not. My husband Andreas and I have a little garden and I planted twelve rose trees – on sticks like in Alice In Wonderland – with roses on the top, each one different; red, pink, yellow, orange and white. It’s really lovely. And there’s one of those little Japanese trees at the back with the red maple leaves and somehow the garden has real depth to it from the different colours in the foliage. It had just been raining and the sun was shining in on all the leaves and Andreas picked up a postcard off the table of Rousseu’s tiger painting. He never went to the jungle, he simply went to the Jardin des Plantes and invented it all from there. Andreas decided that the look of the garden was the same as the painting, and that no painter ever managed to put so much abundance of nature in one piece. Nobody did it as well as he did.”



    “You have to say that Titian is the greatest painter – his ideas are two thirds of all the ideas that exist when it comes to composing a painting. He is so original and had such incredible skill. What’s so great about him is that in the last ten years of his life, he did these paintings that were really different to anything he’d done before in his life. It’s brilliant.”



    “Go to the Henri Matisse exhibition at the Tate, that’s great. He’s definitely one of my favourite painters.”



    “We can’t forget Gainsborough either – he is one of the greatest English painters. They’re wonderful. If you’d want to learn to paint like Gainsborough, you’d have to go somewhere like the Courtauld Institute where they’ll even show you how to repair old paintings and explain all of the layers in paintings, because they’re all different.”



    “He was an amazing painter and he was an ambassador in the Netherlands and Spain. At 50 years old, Ruben was still training, still learning, and still copying Titian. It’s never too late to learn more. Look at tennis players, they have coaches until they drop dead! They know the importance of learning.”