By Giovanna Pasquariello ǀ

Week 6 of lockdown. Another intriguing anthropological survey requires to be carried out. Now more than ever people need answers to important questions, such as ‘When will it be safe to go out?’, ‘Are synthetic biologists working on a vaccine?’, ‘Will I be able to find flour at the shops next week?’ and ‘If people in quarantine were paintings, which would they be?’. Well, at least one of these doubts will be solved today – let’s explore a gallery of human types during lockdown!

Gustave Caillebotte – A Balcony. Boulevard Haussmann (1880)

[image from WikiArt]

The view from your window never looked so interesting. The sun shines, birds sing, flowers are blossoming. A lonely stranger walks along the street – you are craving so much for human interaction that you say ‘hello’ to him. He seems to feel the same, because he smiles you back and you become the best of friends.

Johannes Vermeer – The Milkmaid (1657/1658)

[image from Wikipedia]

This painting is for the ones who suddenly became bakers, chefs and bartenders. You experimented all the different combinations of milk, flour, butter and eggs. Your electricity bills might be very expensive, but at least your flatmates love you.

Georges Seurat – A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (1884)

[image from Wikipedia]

Did the Government allow us to go out for a ‘healthy walk or a run’? What a wonderful occasion to show our best sportswear and… lay down on the grass! It seems like cities are full of equally sporty people at the moment.

Giacomo Balla – Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash (1912)

[image from ResearchGate]

I have never seen so many dogs spending time with their humans – and so happy to run on the grass and to meet strangers! The only difficulty here is that, due to social distancing, you are not supposed to cuddle them.

Jacob Maris – A Girl Asleep on a Sofa (1880)

[image from ArtUk, photo credit Glasgow Museum]

What better image to end this gallery than the picture which reflects the mood of all the students working from home?


Giovanna Pasquariello is Contributions editor for “Pubs and Publications: the PhD experience”. She’s a first year at the University of Edinburgh, studying something old, very old: Greek inscriptions about the Celtic tribes who settled in Anatolia in 3rd BC. Apart from this, she swears she is a fun person.