In a corner of the internet, design geeks took part in a photoshop competition that saw celebrities become the subject of old master European paintings. The contest host, DesignCrowd, asked participants the question: “If the renaissance took place in modern times, and the models were famous pop culture celebrities, what would the artwork have looked like?”
The contest only ran for 48 hours, but a great number of submissions came pouring in. Once you see which entries we selected, we think you’ll agree that these photoshop wizards are downright hilarious. Take a look at how, and in what scenario, they chose to insert a famous face into a classic renaissance painting.
Keanu Reeves Would Have Made a Beautiful Palace Mistress
Do you think actor Keanu Reeves would have been as much of a 90s heartthrob if we took him out of his Matrix heyday and put him in the 1890s? We must admit, this middle parting look and the peach satin gown just look right on him. There’s just something about his exposed collarbones and fidgety fingers that make him look like a proper lady-in-waiting.
The original painting is Portrait of Madame F, created in 1850-1851, and painted by Edouard Louis Dubufe. Women in particular were said to have loved his work due to his mastery of coloring and the smooth finish on the canvas. Had Keanu been the actual model for his painting, we can’t imagine he’d have painted it any differently.
Helena Bonham Carter Was Born To Be a Femme Fatale
Actress Helena Bonham Carter looks right at home in this painting. She often plays dark and complicated characters, and this classic work of art is definitely on the sinister side. If we squint, the decapitated man looks kind of like Tim Burton. You’re shocked facial expression isn’t fooling anyone, Helena!
The original 1899 painting came from the French artist Jean Benner and was named Salome. It depicts Salome, a character in the New Testament, holding the head of John the Baptist on a food platter. While the story is one of legend, Jean’s symbolist painting style was an original and haunting take.
Johnny Depp Could Have Been a Muse of the Dutch Golden Age
We don’t know about you, but we think Johnny Depp should retire his usual rock star garb. This photoshop creation depicts the star in a gorgeous blue and gold headscarf and drop-down pearl earring, and we think he’s never looked better. The smudgy black eyeliner compliments the look perfectly.
The original work of art, The Girl With the Pearl Earring, was made by Dutch Golden Age painter Johannes Vermeer in the 17th century. It became mainstream when a movie of the same name came out in 2003 starring Scarlett Johansson. We only wish they had gone with Mr. Depp as the title character to bring this recreation to life.
Mama June Missed Her Calling as a Tudor Sovereign
We know June Shannon AKA Mama June as a mother to Honey Boo Boo and the rest of the Shannon clan. She has undergone a drastic weight loss in recent years, but should she have kept her larger physique, she could have been a great beauty of the Elizabethan era.
In the Elizabethan era, pale skin and a fuller figure were considered to be more beautiful. So much so that women all over England would make up their faces with a toxic substance called Venetian ceruse, and it would cause all manner of health issues throughout their lives. In that regard, Mama June would have truly flourished in Elizabethan society.
Angelina Jolie as a 1920s Belle of the Ball
Actress Angelina Jolie is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful women in the world. But how would that beauty translate into the flapper period of the early 1900s? Well, we don’t have to imagine thanks to one of the photoshop wizards on the internet. Angelina looks a far cry from how we’re used to seeing her.
Angelina’s image was edited onto a portrait by the artist William Clarke Wontner, aptly named An Elegant Beauty. We can see in this photoshopped version of the artwork what the Maleficent star would look like if she had a weaker jawline – it definitely changes her look entirely. That, and the period dress sense.
Rowan Atkinson Can’t Stop Admiring His Long Red Locks
We’re used to seeing actor Rowan Atkinson pulling funny faces as Mr. Bean. But seeing his famous character in the context of 1907 (when this portrait was painted) is extra hilarious. He has long red locks and wears an elaborate off-the-shoulder gown. He’s definitely feeling himself, as the hand mirror in his left hand signifies vanity.
In fact, the original portrait painted by Frank Cadogan Cowper is actually called Vanity. It may not have been from the period, but this work of art was made to be reminiscent of Renaissance imagery of the Virgin and Child. We can’t think of a more fitting master painting to pair with everyone’s favorite childish buffoon.
Jim Parsons Would Have Been a Regular Renaissance Bad Boy
Actor Jim Parsons is famous for his role as Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory. We’re used to thinking of him as the king of nerds, but he might have been something completely different during the renaissance period. He might have been a total stud of the time, especially with his shirt wide open like that.
The original artwork was Christ Blessing by the Italian Renaissance master artist Raphael, dating back to around 1502. Painted with oil pigments on a wood painting, art historians have said that the original face of Christ bore a similar resemblance to the artist himself. If only Jim had been there at the time to sit for the painting.
Cameron Diaz Says Let Them Eat Cake!
Seeing that actress Cameron Diaz was the “it” girl in the nineties, it’s only fitting that she would be portrayed as “it” girl of the 18th-century, Marie Antoinette. The last Queen consort of France before the French Revolution was considered to be a real beauty with fair skin, strawberry blonde hair, and big blue eyes. Similarly to Cameron herself.
The original painting was called Marie Antoinette with a Rose and painted in 1783 by prominent French portraitist Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun. What we’ve learned from this photoshop creation is that if the actress was around in the 18th century, she looks as though she would have fit right in. After all, Cameron does have European ancestry.
Orlando Bloom Is Extra Snooty as an Italian Man
We’ve experienced actor Orlando Bloom as a member of Elven royalty in the Lord of the Rings film franchise. But in this photoshopped portrait, he’s depicted as your average man in the streets of renaissance Italy. But how average can you ever really be when you’re this good-looking?
The original painting was simply called Portrait of a Man and created by the legendary painter and architect of the High Renaissance, Raphael. It dates back to the early 1500s, and dare we say Orlando actually looks as though he really is Italian. In reality, he was born and raised in England, however.
Nicole Kidman as a Heavily-Accessorized Aristocrat
Actress Nicole Kidman is one of the most famous faces on the planet, and for good reason. We have no doubt that if she was around during the 16th century, Nicole would have risen through the ranks of aristocracy in no time due to her beauty and charisma. Despite the distracting silk dress she’s wearing here.
The eyeglasses Nicole is wearing weren’t actually in the original 1575 painting, Portrait of a Young Woman, by Giovanni Battista Moroni. Which only makes us more curious as to why they were added at all – surely they’re too small to actually look through? Either way, we’re loving the grandeur that this outfit brings to the actress.
Hugh Laurie Lets Out His Feminine Side in Frills and a Bonnet
Those of you who are familiar with Hugh Laurie’s sketch comedy show A Bit of Fry and Laurie during the nineties will have seen the actor dressed up in women’s clothes before. This photoshop creation isn’t even that much of a stretch for the guy who’s best known for playing Dr. Gregory House.
The OG painting, Portrait Of Harriet Hubbard Ayers, was painted by the American Impressionist artist William Merritt Chase in the 19th century. But we have to admit, the oil on canvas painting is far more expressive with Hugh than it is with the original sitter.
Kate Middleton If She Was Born Into Aristocracy
The Duchess of Cambridge AKA Kate Middleton is no stranger to having her portrait painted since she married the Prince of England. But today’s royal portraits are far different from what they used to be, and this photoshopped creation shows just how she might have looked if she had actually been born into aristocracy, rather than married into it.
When Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun painted Portrait of a Young Woman in 1797, she was depicting a French lady of high society, who was most probably Parisian. Anyone who knows about Kate’s heritage knows that she isn’t the descendant of wealthy aristocrats, but she definitely would have looked the part back in the late 1700s.
Timothee Chalamet Would Have Been High Demand Then, Too
Actor Timothee Chalamet is known for his boyish good looks, and unsurprisingly is translates especially well into art from the renaissance. In fact, there is an entire Instagram account dedicated to photoshopping the actor into classic works of art, and it has garnered a following base of around 80,000 people.
The original artwork, Boy with a Basket of Fruit, painted by Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio circa 1640, depicts another young guy with boyish looks. In fact, young men were arguably his favorite subject to paint. There’s no doubt in our mind that had Timothee been in Rome at the time, he would have been snapped up as a model. Just look at that razor-sharp jawline!
Amanda Seyfried Would Have Made a Stunning Tsarina
Actress Amanda Seyfried is a far cry from her Mean Girls character Karen in this classic painting. For one thing, she has dark brunette locks as opposed to the light blonde we usually see her sporting. But one thing is certain – she looks positively regal in this photoshopped portrait painting.
The original painting was a 1857 Portrait of Empress Maria Alexandrovna by the German court painter Franz Xavier Winterhalter. Empress Maria was a German princess who became a Tsarina through marriage and was described as having “beautiful skin and fine bright eyes.” But her features have been totally undermined by the stunning Amanda.
David Bowie As Bacchus Is Totally Believable
Rockstar David Bowie definitely wore some questionable clothes in his “Ziggy Stardust” days. So seeing him draped in nothing but a loose-fitting toga (or bedsheet?) and a grape tree “flower crown” isn’t all that surprising. In fact, we’re surprised this image wasn’t used on one of his album covers at one point.
David’s face has been superimposed onto the 1598 painting The Adolescent Bacchus, by the one and only master-artist Caravaggio. Considering how Bacchus was the Greek god of wine, intoxication, and theater, it makes for a pretty perfect pairing with the rebellious glam-rock child of the seventies.
Kylie Jenner Assuming the Role of a Mythical Goddess
Television personality and cosmetics mogul Kylie Jenner knows a thing or two about selling her looks. She turned the controversy surrounding her full lips into a cash cow by starting a makeup coֿֿֿֿֿֿmpany. It’s not hard to imagine that she would figure out how to market her image in the 19th century.
The original painting is an extremely famous one, called The Birth of Venus, created in 1879 by the French artist William-Adolphe Bouguereau. Venus was considered to be the image of ideal feminine beauty by the ancient Romans and Greeks, so it’s only fitting that Kylie – a modern-day Venus to many – should stand in her place.
Jessica Biel Has People Wondering Whether She’s Period Drama Material
Actress Jessica Biel recently became the subject of online discussions after people questioned whether or not she was fit to star in period dramas. Someone on Twitter wrote: “Some people just can’t be believably cast in a period piece like sorry Jessica Biel you have a face that knows about text messaging.” Others came to the actress’s defense.
Pictured in the 1787s Portrait of Madame Roland by Adelaide Labille-Guiard, Jessica has been seamlessly photoshopped into the period painting. And we can’t help but think that she looks perfectly believable in the role. Once you put someone in an 18th-century wig and a huge frilly dress, they look completely transformed. What do you think?
Michael Jackson Might Fit the Period More Than We Thought
Popstar Michael Jackson AKA the “King of Pop” can hardly be described as having had a classical look about him. He underwent several procedures to his face and ended up changing his appearance entirely. So it’s especially hard to imagine him in 1744 when this portrait was painted.
The original was painted by Anton Raphael Mengs and is a self-portrait of the German artist. The more we look at the photoshopped image, however, the more right it looks. The “King of Pop’s” long shoulder-length locks, pale face makeup, and rouge lips seem in keeping with the “dandy” look of the 18th-century.
Amy Winehouse Is Breathtaking In a Blue Satin Dress
Singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse captured the hearts of people from all around the world. It’s only right that she should be immortalized in a classic work of art, especially considering how iconic her style was. But seeing Amy in a period gown with tattoos, winged eyeliner, and her signature beehive hair looks surprisingly right.
Amy’s image was added to the painting, Portrait of the Princesse de Broglie, painted in 1853 by the French Neoclassical artist Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. The princess was known to be highly intelligent and beautiful, but she tragically died at a young age. It’s a story not so different from Amy’s own.
“Weird Al” Yankovic Goes Back in Time to Re-Write History
Actor, musician, and general funny-man “Weird Al” Yankovic already has the long curly locks of a renaissance man. So seeing him in the elegant, aristocratic clothes of a well-respected gentleman finally looks like it’s completed his look. Especially with “Weird Al’s” musketeer mustache.
The original painting was a self-portrait of the German artist Albrecht Durer, and it was painted in 1498. But this photoshopped version changed more than just the face. If you look at the inscription to the right beneath the window ledge, it reads: “1498, I painted it according to my figure. I was twenty-six years old, ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic.”
Lucy Liu and Danny Devito Are the Hollywood Pairing We Didn’t Know We Needed
Actress Lucy Liu is so drop-dead gorgeous, we can totally see her depicted as an angel of some sort in renaissance art. But in this portrait instead, she’s playing the part of the Virgin Mary and she’s not alone. A child is supposed to be sitting on her lap and reading with her, but the child has been transformed into actor Danny DeVito.
The original painting that was photoshopped over is a very famous piece. Created in 1503 during the high renaissance period, Madonna and Child with the Book is one of Raphael’s devotional works of art. But a Danny DeVito baby certainly isn’t inspiring anything in us.
Jack Nicholson Is Quite the Charmer In Any Era
There’s just something about actor Jack Nicholson’s face that just works in every decade. Even if that decade is the 1790s. His cheeky smile and expressive brows prove he was destined for life as a performer, whether or not he has to wear a ruffled blouse and top hat.
The original painting was simply titled “Self-portrait,” and was finished in 1793 by the French portrait painter Joseph Ducreux. Joseph was particularly interested in expressing people’s character through their outward appearance, which is what makes him such a good match with cinema legend Jack Nicholson.
Angelina Jolie Would Have Been Just as Much of an Eyeful as She Is Today
Actress Angelina Jolie has made so much money over the years, she would never have to work another day in her life if she chose. Which is much like the original sitter of this portrait painting, Lady Tufton. Tufton was the daughter of a wealthy British Earl, whereas Angelina is the daughter of Hollywood big shot Jon Voight.
Because of the similarities between the two women, we can imagine that had Angelina been alive in 1632, this very much could have been what life looked like for the Maleficent star. The original painting was made by the Flemish Baroque artist Anthony van Dyck, and simply called Portrait of Margaret, Lady Tufton.
Jack Black Would Be Perfectly Cast as King Henry VIII
We love that one of the photoshop wizards combined actor and musician Jack Black with the infamous King Henry VIII. They’re both big-boned men with a similar build, and they both share a sense of flamboyance. It wouldn’t even be hard to imagine Jack walking around the house in this elaborate costume.
This painting is actually a recreation of the original Portrait of Henry VIII, now a lost work of art. Painter Hans Holbein the Younger depicted Henry VIII back in 1536, but the painting was destroyed in a fire in 1698. Today, only recreated paintings exist, but it has still become one of the most famous images of Henry VIII.
Beyonce Would Have Had Long Luscious Locks During the Enlightenment
Singer-songwriter Beyonce Knowles is one of the biggest faces on the planet. Not only is she incredibly hard-working with an immense amount of natural talent, but she’s also exceptionally beautiful. She has the kind of face people love to photograph, so it’s only natural to see her as the subject of an old classic painting.
Anyone who knows Beyonce’s style knows she loves her long hair. She plays around with the style and color of it, but it usually hangs past her waist. This photoshopped version of Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun’s Portrait of a Young Woman from 1797 feels like an accurate representation of how Beyonce would wear her hair in the 1800s!
Robin Williams Takes the Place of a German Nobleman
Actor Robin Williams has gone down in history as one of the best improvisational comedians to have ever lived. And yet in this photoshopped renaissance painting, he is depicted as being unusually serious. Perhaps the digital wiz who made this image imagined renaissance Robin as a total opposite?
Either way, we’re super impressed by how seamlessly Robin fits into the painting. It truly looks as though it was his face that was painted with oil colors when in reality it was Jakob Muffel’s. Jakob was a German nobleman who had the privilege of being painted by the great artist Albrecht Durer.
Lisa Kudrow Radiates From Within as a Religious Saint
Actress Lisa Kudrow has been thrown back into the public eye lately thanks to the recent Friends reunion. She’s always struck us as a classic beauty, which is why we’re happy to see that someone photoshopped her into an old renaissance painting. Doesn’t she look like she just belongs?
Raphael created the Saint Catherine of Alexandria in 1507, choosing to depict the fourth-century princess in a moment of divine ecstasy. Perhaps that’s fitting, considering how Lisa’s career might be making a comeback. Perhaps this photoshopped painting is a prophecy of things to come.
Bill Murray Would Have Made an Interesting Founding Father
Actor, comedian, and writer Bill Murray has had a very successful Hollywood career. So it’s not hard to imagine that if he had lived during the 18th-century, he would also have become a very accomplished man. In this painting, Bill has been expertly superimposed onto the body of George Washington.
But whether or not Bill has what it takes to be a founding father is up for debate. But we must say, in this edited version of The Athenaeum Portrait by artist Gilbert Stuart, Bill really looks the part. He looks a little bit asymmetrical, sure. But at least he’s smiling.
Scarlett Johansson Takes on the Position of an 18th Century Feminist
Actress Scarlett Johansson is one of the hottest and most bankable women in cinema. But in this classic painting, she’s depicted as a feminist trailblazer sitting in front of an easel. Women during the 18th century in Europe weren’t usually regarded to be as talented as their male counterparts.
The original painting is by French artist Elisabeth Louise Vigee Le Brun in 1790 and is simply titled Self-Portrait. She depicted herself sitting in front of an easel with a paintbrush in her hand, and it certainly was an uncommon position to find a woman in classic art. This photoshop creation is definitely a compliment to Scarlett!
Julia Roberts Reminds Us Why We Fell in Love With Her Beauty in the First Place
Actress Julia Roberts is known for her gorgeous smile a perfect row of pearly white teeth. But in this photoshopped portrait, we can’t see her most famous feature. She has a slight smile across her face, but the focal point is the silky red hair and Julia’s natural resting beauty.
It was originally painted by British female artist Sophie Anderson in the 19th century and was given the self-descriptive title A Young Girl braiding her Hair. We’re totally in love with Julia in the place of the original young sitter, as it celebrates another side of the actress’s exquisite features that get far less recognition.
Kristen Stewart Is Thirteen Going on Thirty
Actress Kristen Stewart has totally transformed her image in recent years. Before she rocked a short blonde pixie haircut, she had silky brunette hair and that’s exactly the version of Kristen that we get in this recreated painting. She is young and fresh-faced but wearing the regal clothes of an older aristocratic lady.
The pre-photoshopped painting is called Portrait of a Lady in Green and was painted sometime between 1528-32 by Italian renaissance artist Agnolo Bronzino. Historians are in debate about whether or not the sitter’s clothes are northern Italian or from Florentine. Either way, they suggest that the woman in question is far wiser and more experienced than Kristen appears here.
Adele Channels Old World Beauty in Striking Portrait
English singer-songwriter Adele Adkins recently underwent a dramatic weight loss, which sees her looking entirely different from the soul singer that we’re used to. But this recreated painting from the 18th century shows Adele pre-transformation looking lovely as ever with, albeit, unusual hair.
The original painting is Anne-Marie-Louise Thélusson, Countess of Sorcy by the French neoclassical painter Jacques-Louis David, and was complete in 1790. This portrait highlights how beautiful Adele’s features are today, and would have been in the past should she have lived then.
Catherine Zeta-Jones Would Have Been a Mid-19th Century Heartbreaker
Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones is already a celebrated beauty in modern times. But after looking at this photoshopped version of a classical painting, there’s not a doubt in our mind that she would have been just as famous back then as she is today.
The German painter and lithographer who was best known for his portraits of royalty and aristocracy in the mid-19th century, Franz Xaver Winterhalter, painted the original in 1864. It was called Portrait of Madame Rimsky-Korsakov, but the feature that impresses us most is the hair. The glossy brunette locks we see on Catherine are from the OG painting, but it looks just like her hair today!
Lily Cole Is Too Precious to Not Be Celebrated in Any Era
Model and actress Lily Cole is most famous for her striking naturally red hair and precious baby face. By today’s standards she’s one-of-a-kind, but haven’t you ever wondered how she would have looked back in the day? Well, you can take this as confirmation that she is, in fact, stunning in every era.
It was the English portrait painter George Romney who painted the original artwork, Miss Constable, back in 1787. Similarly, the original sitter had an innocent appearance much like Lily. But the Snow White and the Huntsman actress has a slight edge that for sure would have been a hit with audiences in the 1700s.
Elijah Wood Is Extremely Intimidating When He Wants To Be
Actor Elijah Wood will forever by Frodo Baggins for most of us. But had he never starred as the lead character in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, or never even been born in today’s world, could he have been somebody completely different? Maybe even a Marshal General of France?
The original painting is called Portrait of the Comte de Turenne and was completed in 1816 by Jacques Louis David. Comte de Turenne was in fact the Marshal General of France during a large part of the 17th century, which explains the proud pose and flashy clothes. We’re not sure how we feel about this version of Elijah.
Drew Barrymore Would Have Made an Unforgettable Market Girl
Actress Drew Barrymore used to be one of the “it” girls of the nineties. And this recreated classical work of art shows her back in those youthful days. We must say, this digital rendition is just perfect, as we can hardly tell it’s not the real thing! If we didn’t know who Drew Barrymore was, it would be easy to imagine this was the original painting.
But the original painting depicts a local French girl in 1869 and was title The Return of the Market. Neoclassical artist William-Adolphe Bouguereau was the one who painted it, using a model of a similar age to Drew here. There’s no denying that Drew has a captivating look about her.
Michelle Pfeiffer Would Have Been a Very Seductive Art Teacher
Actress Michelle Pfeiffer has taken on many different kinds of roles in Hollywood. But we’re yet to see her play the part of an art teacher from the late 18th century. And seeing her photoshopped into this painting makes us want to turn this remastered renaissance image into a reality.
The original painting was created by the female artist Adelaide Labille-Guiard in 1785, and she titles the image Self-Portrait with Two Pupils. Michelle certainly looks like the most glamorous instructor we’ve ever come across, as it’s not every day you see your teacher in a low-cut blue satin gown and elaborate hat.
Susan Boyle Looks Like She’d Live Her Best Life in 1825
Singer Susan Boyle would have been a hit back in the olden days. Not only does she have the singing voice of an angel, but she embodies everything that people used to consider the epitome of beauty. Thicker and darker eyebrows were totally in fashion, as was a soft and curvaceous figure.
The original work of art was painted by Jacques Louis David in 1825, and titled Portrait of Madame Charles-Pierre Pecoul. We can totally imagine Susan as an aristocratic woman living in the lap of luxury in Paris. The only thing that’s missing is a little dog on her lap.
Jennifer Aniston Is Unassuming In Humble Clothes and a Headdress
Actress Jennifer Aniston is arguably the most successful Friends star, having gone on to consistently star in Hollywood movies for the last two decades. But in this photoshopped classical portrait, we’re seeing a version of the star that’s considerably more humble. She’s wearing the simple clothes of an ordinary European person in the 18th century.
The original portrait was made by the French artist Jacques-Louis David in 1780 and titled Young Woman with a Turban. It’s definitely the first time we’ve ever seen the Friends star in a fabric headdress. Interestingly, the original painting was meant to represent an “Expressive Head,” and it couldn’t have been better recreated than with actress Jennifer Aniston.
Rowan Atkinson Is Just as Funny With a Different Body Type
Actor Rowan Atkinson was chosen by photoshops experts more than once in the Design Crowd competition, and it’s easy to see why. His expressive features totally transform any renaissance work of art, even if the subject in question is a completely different body shape.
Some of you may recognize this painting as Portrait of a Gentleman by the French Baroque artist Charles Mellin. It was finished in 1645, and is presumed that the sitter asked for Charles not to hide his large physique. We can see why – the Mr. Bean actor looks noble and strong!