Spring has sprung, the sun is out, flowers are blooming and birds are chirping….but we’re all stuck inside, self-quarantining and social-distancing until further notice! For those of you who, like us, are struggling to pass the time while keeping busy and entertained, we’ve put together some suggestions, inspired – as ever! – by the artworks in our galleries:


1 – Learn, or practice, a musical instrument

Sir Peter Lely, A young man playing an eleven-course lute, oil on canvas


How often have you thought to yourself ‘I wish I knew how to play the lute’ or ‘gosh, I really need to make more time to practice my viola de gamba’? Well, now is your chance! Follow the example of Sir Peter Lely’s lute player, his mouth open in song, or Friedrich Kerseboom’s diligent young musician, and pick up your instrument.

Frederick Kerseboom, The Elder, Sir John Langham, Bt. (1671 – 1747), as a boy aged 12, playing the viola da gamba, 1683, oil on canvas


2 – Look through old photos of your last Italian holiday

Giovanni Paolo Panini, Rome, the Pantheon, a view of the interior, 1734, oil on canvas


Has coronavirus put the kibosh on your planned Italian getaway over Easter break? There’s nothing like reviewing your old travel photos to bring a smile to your face. Maybe you were marvelling at the Pantheon like Giovanni Paolo Panini, riding a gondola along Canaletto’s Venetian canals, or strolling through the Roman campagna like Edward Lear. Until you can visit in person, rely on your memories and photos to bring back the good times.

Edward Lear, Campagna di Roma, the Alexandrine Aqueducts, 1860, oil on canvas


3 – You’ve got a zoom meeting with colleagues, followed by a houseparty with your university friends…and you can’t turn up in your pyjamas!

Graham Little, Untitled, 2005, coloured pencil on paper


Make like the fashionable ladies in Graham Little’s Untitled and dress to impress! It’s a great time to organise and sort your wardrobe, and now that everyone is zoom-conferencing, you can’t get away with wearing the same old hoodie you’ve had on for three days straight….it’s time to put in some effort!


4 – Recreate your favourite masterpiece:

Dickinson’s recreation of Magritte’s Le civilisateur, June 1944, oil on canvas. Sorry Ozzie…


Even the dog can get involved! What do you think of our responses to @tussenkunstenquarantaine and #gettymuseumchallenge?


5 – Read to a child

Martin Kippenberger, Das Ende des Alphabets (Prototype for the Edition), 1989, inflatable rubber on wood; cork on wood; acrylic on wood (three parts)


With daycares and schools closed for the foreseeable future, you might be at home with your own children, or you might have friends or family members with bored little ones at home. If you can’t get together in person, fire up skype and pitch in to read a book to a friend’s child – you’ll both keep entertained and the time will pass more quickly! Martin Kippenberger sets the tone with his XYZ.


6 – Get cooking, or order some tasty snacks on Ocado, Deliveroo or Fresh Direct

Frans Snyders, Nature morte aux singes pilleurs de fruits et au pot d’oeilles roses, c. 1635-40, oil on panel


How delicious does Frans Snyders’ pile of fresh fruit look? Grapes, peaches, figs and a melon are scattered across the table, offering a healthy alternative to the piles of chocolate bars we might otherwise be snacking on, along with plenty of vitamins to help fight off germs. Stock up so you don’t need to visit the grocery store frequently during these times of social distancing, but…

Don’t stockpile all the loo roll!

Man Ray, La Fortune III, 1946-73, assemblage of wood, springs, roulette wheel and toilet paper