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James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Symphony in White
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Here are five paintings that perfectly express the boredom of isolation

By
Eddy Frankel
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Art is full of bored-looking people. Take a walk through any museum or gallery around the world (when they re-open, obviously) and you’ll see hundreds of faces expressing nothing more than ennui. That’s because sitting for portraits is a tedious business, what with spending all those hours sat still doing absolutely nothing. Sound familiar? Sitting for a portrait is a lot like living in self-isolation. So find solace in these beautiful paintings of total boredom from London’s museums, just so you know that you’re not alone. That’s the whole point of art: solace.

Walter Sickert, ‘Ennui’

Walter Sickert, Ennui

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When you’re on day four of your boyfriend mansplaining what an incubation period is. 

Meraud Guevara, ‘Seated Woman with Small Dog’

Meraud Guevara, Seated Woman with a Small Dog

Tate © Estate of Meraud Guevara

Three months into self-isolation you might want to strangle your pets too.

Gwen John, ‘Chloë Boughton-Leigh’

Gwen John Chloë Boughton-Leigh

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Looks like the only thing more boring than self-isolating is sitting for a portrait for Gwen John.

Thomas Gainsborough, ‘Mr and Mrs Hallett (The Morning Walk)’

Mr and Mrs William Hallett ('The Morning Walk')  Thomas Gainsborough, 1785

© The National Gallery, London

Day 43 of going for exactly the same walk with exactly the same person. Send help. Please.

James Abbott McNeill Whistler, ‘Symphony in White, No 2: The Little White Girl’

James Abbott McNeil Whistler, ‘Symphony in White, No.2: The Little White Girl’

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This is probably the most terrifyingly relatable boredom painting in all of history. Shudder.

Self-isolation might be boring, but here are 11 brilliant London art magazines to help see you through the tedium.

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