To get into the holiday spirit we have put together a Christmas-themed art history, to that well-known carol you will undoubtedly be required to sing in between uncomfortable catch-ups with distant relatives.
We’ve had a browse through the Art UK collection, to present to you some of the finest selection of paintings illustrating the song, from fifteenth-century gold rings to nineteenth-century leaping lords.
On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me... A partridge in a pear tree
A partridge and no pears, unfortunately, but hopefully some grapes and a pomegranate will do?
Dutch still lifes often included flowers, dead animals or exotic fruits, allowing artists to paint intricate detail and the reflection of light.
On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me... Two turtle doves
Two standard doves defying the laws of gravity.
Art historians previously believed the sitter of this painting could be the Princess of Orange, before
On the third day of Christmas... well, you get the idea... Three French hens
... Or several cockerels and hens – two of which appear to be French.
Flemish painter Pieter Casteels seems to have been fond of poultry, especially hens, ducks
Four colly birds
There are different versions of the song for the fourth day of Christmas including calling birds, mockingbirds
Tobias Stranover was born and raised in Transylvania and often depicted bird skirmishes.
Five gold rings
According to The National Gallery, the sitter was either a goldsmith or soon-to-be married. He looks thrilled.
Six geese a-laying
With an extra goose a-laying.
The Scottish landscape painter Edward Hargitt became a bird expert later in life, completing around 1,300 drawings of woodpeckers.
Seven swans a-swimming
... Or two swans neck wrestling.
Spencer often depicted the countryside around the River Thames, which runs through the rural village Cookham, Berkshire – the artist’s hometown.
Eight maids a-milking
Let’s switch the gender roles and have one man milking.
Nine ladies dancing
... Or a dozen woodland nymphs dancing.
William Gale was a British painter and lesser-known artist of the Pre-Raphaelite school.
Ten lords a-leaping
One Lord doing an Irish jig.
Eleven pipers piping
... Or even better, hundreds of Scottish bagpipers. Dinna Ye Hear the Pipes?
Twelve drummers drumming
Instead, we have one happy baby.
That’s the end of our lyrical art history. We hope we gifted you with the festive spirit.
Lydia Figes, Content Creator at Art UK