Museum updates artworks for times of social distancing

A museum has created postcard versions of how some of its artworks might look in times of social distancing.

In a re-imagined version of Bridesmaid, painted by John Everett Millais in 1851, his subject dons a delicate floral face mask to match her silken gown.

The personal protective equipment also features in updated takes on The Twins, his portrait of Kate and Grace Hoare, as they prepare for an outing with their faithful hound – and in Belgian painter Alfred Emile Leopold Stevens’s La Liseuse, which translates as The Reader.

The images have been created as a range of postcards for sale, to help support Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum, which has been closed to the public since March due to the pandemic.

Coronavirus � Mon Jun 8, 2020
A re-imagined version of The Twins by John Everett Millais (Fitzwilliam Museum/PA)

The museum explained, on its website, that the inspiration for Fitzwilliam Masterpieces 2020 Edition was the question: How might the subjects of our favourite paintings be protecting themselves during this most unusual year?

Luke Syson, the museum’s director, said: “Over the last few weeks, things we took for granted have become precious.

“One of those is humour, that sometimes feels in short supply.

“These doctored versions of some of the Fitz’s great masterpieces wittily re-imagine their protagonists as living at this moment.

“What a difference to our understanding of their actions and interactions the addition of a face-cover makes.

“But perhaps they make a serious point too – of how we expect to greet one another with hugs and kisses – and how much changes when that’s not possible.

“At least we can still laugh together. That’s not changed. And I hope these might help.”

To buy the postcards online, see

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