@GazWeetman (Source: Twitter)

Originally published on Art UK and BBC Arts.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the image quickly went viral across social media, with countless memes cropping up over the following hours – many of them, such as the one above by Gaz Weetman, referencing works of art in one way or another.

The recumbent posture immediately conjures up a wealth of connotations, from feasting Romans to the sexualised submission of odalisques (concubines) in the harem, and even Henry Moore's semi-abstract sculptures.

Avoiding the political ramifications of this moment, let's turn our gaze to the art historical roots of the reclining figure. So lie back, relax and read on...

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