What to do at home - become your own Italian masterpiece

Getty Museum asked people to recreate classic artworks and they certainly did not disappoint

The Astronomer by Vermeer

What is an art enthusiast to do, now that galleries and museums worldwide have closed their doors to vistors? The world-famous J. Paul Getty Museum, based in Los Angeles, has a suggestion: recreate famous works of art using household items. And the results are simply marvelous. 

The museum issued the challenge to its Twitter followers exactly one week ago:

"We challenge you to recreate a work of art with objects (and people) in your home," tweeted the museum, followed by instructions for the project. "Choose your favorite artwork. Find three things lying around your house. Recreate the artwork with those items. And share with us."

The museum also included a link to their collection of artwork - and "inspiration" for others' recreations, courtesy of museum staff. As seen from the photos, the museum's employees went above and beyond with their efforts. One employee, for example, recreated the piece "Portrait of a Halberdier (Francesco Guardi?)" by Italian artist Pontormo, also known as Jacopo Carucci, using a field hockey stick instead of a battle weapon. Another person utilized cans of tuna and a block of cheese to imitate an18th century still life by French artist Jean-Siméon Chardin. 

The responses then have ranged from the hilarious to the impressive, with recreated artworks including classics such as Master of Saint Cecilia’s Madonna and Child, the anonymously created Virgin, Saint Elizabeth, and the Infants John the Baptist and Christ; as well as modern works such as Helen Frankenthaler’s Mirabelle – now featuring strategic but perhaps inadvisable use of that precious commodity, toilet paper. One Twitter user even took an abstract take on the famous piece "The Scream" by Edvard Munch - utilizing several household items to make a sculpture of sorts. 

The Getty museum, however, is not the first to suggest whiling away self-isolation with ad hoc art experiments. Its tweet was predated by a few days by an Instagram account, @covidclassics, created by “four roommates who love art … and are indefinitely quarantined”. Over the course of a week, the roommates, based in the US, have been recreating classic works of art and sharing them on social media. The recreations, which began with Jacques-Louis David’s The Death of Marat, eventually have become progressively more detailed and adventurous.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

Similar articles

  • Why so serious

    Why so serious

    New York-based Bulgarian artist Houben Tcherkelov opens solo exhibition in Gabrovo

    Why So Serious is the title of a solo exhibition by New York-based Bulgarian artist Houben Tcherkelov opening doors to visitors of the House of Humor and Satire museum in Gabrovo, Bulgaria. In addition to new works, Tcherkelov, who is best known for his paintings of people depicted on banknotes and coins, is showing sculptures created between 2002 and 2019 with this latest display.

  • The needle's tip

    The needle's tip

    Emanuela Kovach, one of the most prominent Bulgarian graphic artists of her generation, presents her exhibition The Needle's Tip at the Museum Gallery Anel in Sofia. The title is not chosen accidentally. It leads directly to the engraving method of intaglio printing - “dry needle”, which Kovach has been using for many years. This is a method that takes us back in time - to the 15th century and to Albrecht Durer.

  • Garden of Spirituality reveals Mount Athos in Sofia City Art Gallery

    Garden of Spirituality reveals Mount Athos in Sofia City Art Gallery

    Classics and modernists depict their raptures of the Holy Mountain's monasteries

    The Sofia City Art Gallery displays works by great Bulgarian artists dedicated to Mount Athos. The exhibition is titled Garden of Spirituality and presents the Holy Mountain's monasteries and cultural heritage, seen through the eyes of Bulgarian artists from the early to mid-20th century. Among them are Ivan Lazarov, Dechko Uzunov, Tsanko Lavrenov, Konstantin Shtarkelov, Vasil Zahariev, etc. Having visited Mount Athos for one reason or another, each of them recreated in their own style their various impressions of its monasteries and relics, the everyday life of monks, and the place's rich cultural heritage.