The renaissance era is probably my favorite era if I’m going to be completely honest with you. It’s the period of the History of Europe, which was approximately between the end of the XIV century and the middle of the XVI century… and the artwork created at the time was absolutely majestic. But does that mean we must travel all the way back to that time in order to see familiar faces within the art? Well, not anymore!
Thanks to a variety of artists from the old site called Worth1000 (now Design Crowd), that is. These cool cats all gathered together in a now 15-year-long photoshop battle of Modern Renaissance… and it is AMAZING. The idea is to capture the moment and recreate famous paintings of Renaissance but with an added modern twist. Basically, they digitally manipulate these historic paintings to have faces of 21st-century celebrities in them, what’s not to love!?
From Rembrandt’s self-portraits to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, these Photoshop wizards tamper digitally with the best artworks in art history. And while some works are undoubtedly better than others (although I certainly won’t be telling you which), the result is very entertaining, nonetheless.
1. Robin Williams
Of course, I had to start off with my own personal king. I don’t know about you, but I personally think Robin Williams is absolutely SLAYING this look. The original painting used is by the German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer dated 1526 – The Portrait of Jakob Muffel.
2. Amanda Seyfried
Let’s be real here, Amanda Seyfried would look like and a gloriously elegant woman in ANY era, but it is pretty scary how well she suits this look. The original painting used is Portrait of Empress Maria Alexandrovna (1857) by Franz Xaver Winterhalter.
3. Hugh Laurie
Everybody loves Hugh Laurie, and if you’ve never watched an episode of House then I suggest you do so immediately… they’ve captured his facial expression of smug disinterest perfectly. Funnily enough, the original painting, a 1783 piece called Portrait of Alphonse Leroy painted by Jacques-Louis David, was actually of a doctor and man-midwife (Leroy).
4. Michelle Pfeiffer
I don’t know about you, but I’m having a hard time believing that this image wasn’t originally painted for Michelle Pfeiffer herself… I mean just freakin’ look at it! The original painting was actually a 1785 self-portrait by Adélaïde Labille-Guiard – Self-Portrait with Two Pupils.
5. Patrick Stewart
Honestly, I’ve always believed that Patrick Stewart (sorry, Sir Patrick Stewart) was a time traveler anyway, and this image just confirms my suspicions. He looks too good in this attire not to be! The original painting used was An Old Man in Military Costume, which is an oil on panel by Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (about 1630-1631).
6. Emma Watson
I truly believe that Emma Watson’s parents had this painted of her when she was a little girl and had it hanging above the fireplace in their living room. The original painting used was a 1900 portrait by William-Adolphe Bouguereau – Avant le Bain (Before the Bath).
7. Johnny Depp
Wait, are we sure that this isn’t just a painting of Johnny Depp during one of his Hollywood roles? Maybe Dark Shadows pre-vampire? The Demon Barber? Sleepy Hollow? Either way, he looks dapper as heck. The original painting used was a 1794 painting by Jacques-Louis David – Self-Portrait.
8. Helena Bonham Carter
And what’s a renaissance painting of Johnny Depp is it isn’t immediately followed by a renaissance painting of Helena Bonham Carter looking very… well, Helena Bonham Carter (aka, beautiful, yet freakin’ creepy). The original painting which inspired this masterpiece is unknown.
9. Penélope Cruz
Well, it’s official, Penelope Cruz looks absolutely UNREAL in ANY era. It should really be illegal for someone to be this freakin’ beautiful, am I right? She looks like a damn Spanish QUEEN. The original painting was a piece painted by Frederic Leighton named A Roman Lady (1858).
10. Leonard Nimoy
Right I’m going to tell you all a secret now and I hope you find it in your hearts NOT to judge me but… back in his hay day, I had the BIGGEST crush on Leonard Nimoy during his role as Spock on Star Trek, and this uniform is 100% doing it for me! This painting was originally the Portrait of Alexey P. Melissino (1759-1813) by George Dawe. Painted no later than 1825.
11. Orlando Bloom
And here we have Orlando Bloom, looking very important, yet very mischievous… like he knows a secret that could destroy you and your entire family. Not too sure about the hair, but he is totally pulling off this ensemble. This was originally Portrait of a Man by Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, also known as Raphael.