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The next best thing to a private view

Posted at 12:15 pm, December 27, 2011 in Arts & Entertainment

With galleries open and empty, it’s a great time to get close to these masterpieces.

Roy Lichtenstein,‘Whaam’, 1963
The American was at the height of his comic superhero-infused powers when painting this war themed double whammy, which has to be seen to be experienced – preferably without a school party sat in front of it on Level 5 of Tate Modern.

Paul Cézanne, ‘Montagne Sainte Victoire’, 1887
Shun the shrill thrills of Somerset House’s iceskating rink and instead escape upstairs to see one of the Courtauld Institute’s star attractions, a shimmering heat-haze evocation of a French landscape by the great post-impressionist.

Vincent van Gogh, ‘Sunflowers’, 1888
Room 45 of the National Gallery is usually five-deep. These intense, sunny little paintings require close and quiet study and speak of a post-Christmas period of abstinence.

Johannes Vermeer, ‘The Guitar Player’, 1670-72
Kenwood House’s truly outstanding collection will be shipped to the US for a major museum tour. Vermeer’s fragile lady will not travel but will be loaned to the National Gallery in the summer, when Kenwood begins its restoration, so it will naturally attract a big crowd there.

For more artspiration, see timeout.com/art.

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