Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

1 minute read

See Celebrities Reimagined As Renaissance Masterpieces

A digital image manipulation contest produces a gallery of mashups of modern-day celebrities and old paintings.

  • <p>The winner of the contest--Renaissance Angelina by Bruno Sousa.</p>
  • <p>Scarlett of Austria inspired by François Clouet.</p>
  • <p>Tom Hardy inspired by Rembrandt.</p>
  • <p>Natalie Portman as Hortense de Beauharnais.</p>
  • 01 /20
    | Angelina Jolie

    The winner of the contest--Renaissance Angelina by Bruno Sousa.

  • 02 /20

    Scarlett of Austria inspired by François Clouet.

  • 03 /20

    Tom Hardy inspired by Rembrandt.

  • 04 /20
    | Keanu Reeves
  • 05 /20
    | Adele
  • 06 /20
    | Zach Galifianakis
  • 07 /20
    | Hugh Laurie
  • 08 /20
    | Steve Carrell by François-Xavier-Pascal Fabre
  • 09 /20
    | Sean Connery
  • 10 /20
    | Alec Baldwin by William-Adolphe Bouguereau
  • 11 /20
    | Jessica Biel
  • 12 /20
    | Leonardo DiCaprio by Van Gogh
  • 13 /20
    | Michael C. Hall by Henry Inman
  • 14 /20
    | Daniel Day-Lewis
  • 15 /20
    | Robert Downey Jr. by Jacques-Louis David
  • 16 /20
    | Taylor Swift
  • 17 /20
    | Penelope Cruz
  • 18 /20
    | Mr. Bean by Albrecht Dürer
  • 19 /20
    | Mama June
  • 20 /20

    Natalie Portman as Hortense de Beauharnais.

Sometimes, when the light hits their chiseled features just the right way, it’s easy to see how certain celebrities could transcend traditional placement in tabloid magazines and might have inspired a timeless masterpiece hanging in a museum (sometimes less so).

Worth1000.com is an image manipulation site that holds contests to see who’s got the best on-theme Photoshop skills. These contests occasionally involve celebrities, as the one held last October in which users created images of famous bros like Nic Cage and Tom Hanks as beautiful ladies. There’s still some gender-bending in the latest contest—hello, Keanu Reeves in a dress—but the main object is to insert celebrities into works of Renaissance art (yes, some of the entrants applied a liberal interpretation to Renaissance—many of the paintings spill out of that time period).

Some of the examples insert celebrities into the role of model for a famous painting—Angelina Jolie, for instance makes a striking Girl With the Pearl Earring in a version of Vermeer’s classic. Other examples reimagine an artist’s self-portrait instead, with Leonardo DiCaprio filling in for Vincent van Gogh. Taken as a whole, the collection presents ubiquitous faces and old masterpieces in a new light.

Have a look through more of the paintings in the slide show above.