Reinhart focused on artists rather than movements or periods. He favoured those great artists who had arrived at a distinctively personal painterly idiom through an innovative use of colour and light. Ultimately, however, he was less interested in documenting avant-garde innovation than in showing how such innovation became an established norm. Thus he preferred the Impressionists to the Post-Impressionists, who took the use of light and colour to new extremes. And of the Impressionists he attached special value to Auguste Renoir, Edouard Manet and Paul Cézanne, three artists whose work clearly invoked the art of the past. Among the Post-Impressionist generation Reinhart acquired work principally by artists notably close to Impressionism, such as Vincent van Gogh. Rarely did he collect items by twentieth-century artists: the early portrait by Pablo Picasso marks the furthest point his collection goes in the direction of modernism. On the other hand, the immediate forerunners of Impressionism are well represented, with major, almost equally important groups of work by Gustave Courbet, Honoré Daumier and Camille Corot. Reinhart illustrated the roots of their achievement by means of formally related Old Master paintings, including works by Lucas Cranach the Elder, Hans Holbein the Younger, Jacopo Bassano, Nicolas Poussin, Jean-Siméon Chardin and Francisco de Goya.