That’s another frequently asked question, I can’t simply answer with a few names.
Does it sounds too pretentious if I say: “None”?
I know the impression that everything has already been done. At least once and in one or another similar form. And the other acclaimed opinion: There are no original ideas because everything is based on (sometimes unconscious) earlier seen things. If you take these theories not too literally I’m willing to agree, but to explicitly mention another person as an example is just too much credit.
Sure, there are couple of old (dead) masters who did great work. On my first paintings you might discern the gloomy atmosphere of Carel Willink and Pyke Koch. “Ah! So you do have someone who influenced you!” I hear you say. Well, if you think imitating and being influenced is the same thing, then yes.
After practising and doing the obligate trial & errors, I left that path and found my own style. But the often misplaced connection between the words imitate and influence is just what makes me reticent to answer if someone asks me who is the source. If I mention another artist, the questioner and readers probably will search for similarities. And I think that’s an intrusion to the identity of my art.
There are a couple of artist of the present too, who are making inspiring art. But then again; they are doing their thing and I’m doing mine. I’m happy we all have found our own spot to swim in that enormous art pond. It should feel weird to rub on someone else’s achievement.