the Painted Banana ... or ... Inspiration vs Copying

There are few things in life that remain original  .... it's been said "everything has already been photographed",  when you pick up your camera you are merely taking a photo of the same subject in a different time frame, slightly different angle and slightly different light.
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So when I went to the Ashmolean museum for inspiration on my ongoing still life project I couldn't help wondering where their inspiration came from?
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It's quite obvious that they must of been "inspired" by each other but who was their equivalent of a "17th century Dutch master" that inspired them?
At some point someone, somewhere, decided to pick up a paintbrush and paint the bowl of bananas that laid in front of them, bathed so beautifully by the afternoon light streaming into their cave on an autumn's day.
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And clearly it must of been done well enough for them to continue and inspire others to pick up the brush and copy what was just "invented"....
 
Does this mean we have been copying the same person that painted the very first still life over and over and over again?
Most probably, in a broad sense.
 
I have decided to give my future work regarding still life an extra edge .... so far I've been focusing on the lighting but I need to step it up and take it further. I want to make sure that even though I have not invented the concept I will definitely try and take it to another level.
 
Wish me maneki-neko luck ....... 
I most probably used that term incorrectly but you have managed this far without giving up so c'est la vie I say ......
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