For nearly twenty years, Nancy Becker has painstakingly replicated—in watercolor—paintings by the great German, Flemish and Dutch flower painters of the 16th and 17th centuries. It is said that copying is considered the highest form of flattery, but in her watercolors, Becker elevates that process to the level of homage. There can be no question that she reveres these painters of the past with their staggering ability to create precise visual analogues, images that rival the real world from which they derive. Indeed, the degree of verisimilitude they possess calls to mind the famous story told by Pliny the Elder, wherein one Greek painter of the 4th Century B.C. painted grapes so realistically that birds flew down from the sky to peck at them, whereas a rival painter rendered a cloth on his canvas so perfectly that it fooled no one less than the painter of the grapes. Similarly, Becker’s watercolors should be compared to the source paintings from which they derive, whereupon we can only marvel at her ability to recreate every form and nuance of the original picture. She calls her paintings “translations,” for although she attempts to duplicate each detail as accurately as possible, she changes the medium from oil to watercolor, thereby subjecting the image to an entirely new visual vocabulary, resulting in an appropriation whose significance and meaning naturally changes as well.