• 05.20.13

See Celebrities Reimagined As Renaissance Masterpieces

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

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).

advertisement 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.

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. His next book, Away with Words, is available June 13th from Harper Perennial.