I just tried your method and it works. I was looking at my favourite painting from the distance I normally view it, then looked at it through my 55 mm lens. Spot on.
An interesting thing. For a long time I was using only an 50 mm normal lens. When I changed to a 55 mm lens, I noticed I started to step back just a little when taking informal portraits indoors. I wouldn't have expected such a little difference to be so akin to the photographer, but I'm happy it is.