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Modern stars' look-alikes in old paintings

"A study
A study is an exercise painting that helps the painter better understand the object he or she paints. It is simple and clear, like sample letters in a school student’s copybook. Rough and ready, not detailed, with every stroke being to the point, a study is a proven method of touching the world and making a catalogue of it. However, in art history, the status of the study is vague and open to interpretation. Despite its auxiliary role, a study is sometimes viewed as something far more significant than the finished piece. Then, within an impressive frame, it is placed on a museum wall.
So, when does a study remain a mere drill, and when can we call it an artwork in its own right, full of life and having artistic value? Read more
of family portraits is enough to convert a man to the doctrine of reincarnation," said Holmes, observing the portrait of Hugo Baskerville. Arthive has collected 10 portraits evoking similar thoughts.
Can you see Sylvester Stallone in Raphael’s fresco? He’s there!
On the left: Bartholomeus Strobel. Portrait of Johann Vogt (1628). On the right: Robert De Niro.

Robert de Niro

Born in Silesia, Bartholomeus was a court artist under Charles of Austria, Sigismund III, and Ferdinand II. At times, he earned money "on the side", painting simpler characters: his portrait of Johann Vogt, a landowner from Wrocław is a case in point.

They say that when an artist demanded a fee for his work, Vogt narrowed his eyes and asked: "Are you really telling me this?" and refused to pay. However, we don’t know this for sure.

The mystical similarity (up to the famous birthmark) of the Polish landowner who lived in the 17th century and Robert de Niro, became a sensation in certain circles. Historians claim that Vogt had Italian roots, and the artist was invited to the National Museum in Wrocław to see the portrait. But apparently, Bobby had more important things to do than genealogy and self-identification.
On the left: Eminem. On the right: Head of the Roman emperor Alexander Severus (226−235)


Some visitors to the Louvre are probably pleasantly surprised: a sculptural portrait of Eminem is democratically placed among antique masterpieces. Alas, this is not entirely true: the sculpture from the collection of Pope Pius VI depicts the Roman emperor Alexander Severus.

These characters' similarity lies not only in their appearance. Eminem (far from the typical case for the rap scene) admitted that he truly believes in God and often prays. And the reign of Alexander Severus is considered a period of untypical tolerance towards Christianity. Just like Eminem, Severus participated in friendly rap battles. A famous word-man with the fitting name of Africanus dedicated his texts to the emperor. The latter countered by using quotes from early Christian texts — he also did not mind getting into samples and covers. The Persians, Alexander’s eternal opponents from the northern coast (Indian Ocean), also probably called him "snow". In 235, the legionnaires declared disrespect to Alexander Severus and killed him. Three years later, he was officially "deified" - perhaps this is no worse than recording a multi-platinum album.
On the left: Hieronymus Bosch. Christ Carrying the Cross (fragment, 1510s). On the right: Vladimir Zhirinovsky

Vladimir Zhirinovsky

Hieronymus Bosch is known not only as a great artist, but also as an author of amazing insights. For example, in the painting Christ Carrying the Cross, he frighteningly accurately depicted Russian politician Zhirinovsky — almost 500 years before his birth. Bosch’s visionary genius lies not only in the fact that the portrait of Vladimir Zhirinovsky looks lifelike, but also in the fact that the politician is depicted as the Pharisee (read, the eternal oppositionist). The only blunder made by the artist is that his Zhirinovsky is silent — it is more difficult to believe in such an oddity than in all the wonders of the Garden of Earthly Delights combined.
On the left: Louis-Maurice Boutet de Monvel. Portrait of Paul Mounet (1875). On the right: Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves

The Matrix must have begun to play pranks already in the 19th century, because there is no other explanation of how Keanu Reeves appeared in the painting created in 1875.
Its creator, Louis-Maurice Boutet de Monvel, thought that he was painting a portrait of Paul Mounet, who happened to be a well-known actor.

Mounet played the role of Macbeth in the film adaptation of Shakespeare’s play of the same name, and Reeves — Don Juan in the film "Much Ado About Nothing." Reeves plays the bass, and Mounet taught at the Paris Conservatory. Mounet became a Chevalier in the Legion of Honor, and Reeves received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In short, it’s an amazing resemblance: Keanu himself, who saw the portrait on the Jimmy Fallon show, admitted that it pretty much depicted him.
Someone will probably think that it wasn’t that Keanu Reeves went back to the 19th century, but rather Paul Mounet — to the 21st. But it depends on which pills you prefer — blue or red ones.
On the left: Diego Velázquez. Sebastián de Morra (1644). On the right: Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister

Peter Dinklage

Sebastián de Morra, portrayed by Diego Velázquez, was a professional jester at the court of Ferdinand of Austria, Philip IV of Spain and Habsburg prince Balthazar Carlos. Dwarf jesters were an indispensable court attribute of the Spanish rulers, only Philip IV had at least a hundred of them. However, Sebastián de Morra was an exceptional case. Ironic, having a sharp tongue and an agile mind, he was not timid in front of the monarchs, had a good sexual appetite and, despite his constitution, was considered a real playboy at court — how can one not think of at least Tyrion Lannister, if not Peter Dinklage himself?
On the left: Raphael Santi. The Cardinal and Theological Virtues (fragment, 1511). On the right: Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa

Sylvester Stallone

If you take a quick look at the fresco The Cardinal and Theological Virtues (created by Raphael for the Stanza della Segnatura in the Apostolic Palace of the Vatican), you can see Pope Gregory IX approving the decretum. But if you take a closer look, you can see that Sylvester Stallone himself keeps a wary eye on the approval process.

We don’t know what kind of decrees were brought to be signed by the Pope. But, in general, Gregory IX is known as the founder of the Inquisition. In addition, he declared a black cat the embodiment of Satan (which led to the extermination of cats and the outbreak of the plague epidemic which was spread by rats). Sly’s gaze makes it clear that he does not approve of this. And 12 rounds aren’t necessary to hurt someone really bad.
On the left: Peter Paul Rubens. Portrait of Lorenzo de' Medici (1612−1616). On the right: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Looking at the portraits of Lorenzo de' Medici, it is difficult to get rid of the thought that he is about to say: "I need your clothes, your boots, and your motorcycle." In addition to the portrait resemblance to Arnold Schwarzenegger, his occupation is also similar to that of the actor. Lorenzo was a man of art, too (he didn’t get a role in "The Terminator", but wrote lots of poems). He was also an ardent Republican, the "governor" of Florence and everyone’s favorite.

Lorenzo lived the high life. He did not hesitate to borrow money he spent on beautiful women, wine, palaces, art objects and other "cocainum" from the republican budget ("I'll be back", he said, leaving the treasury). It didn’t affect the intensity of people’s love towards him and the trust of his electorate — Lorenzo de' Medici was not only a free-liver, but also a patron of sciences and art, an intelligent ruler, and a competent business executive. Among other things, he loved to organize pompous jousting tournaments. If it hadn’t been for his gout, he would have become the four-time "Knight of the Universe" and the seven-time "Mr. Olympia".
On the left: Diego Velázquez. Portrait of Philip IV (1623). On the right: Mark Zuckerberg.

Mark Zuckerberg

Sometimes you look at someone’s profile on Facebook and think that they look like a king. And then you meet the same person offline and they appear to be neither fish nor fowl. Philip IV was that kind of person. In the official "picture", he was the king of Spain, but in fact appeared to be not more than a reckless prodigal, who had neither interest nor skills to manage state affairs. Having ascended the throne at the age of 16, Philip devolved power on his royal favorite — Count of Olivares, and went on a spree. Olivares' reforms didn’t stir up enthusiasm among his compatriots (for example, he organized something similar to a morale police and banned prostitution). As for foreign policy, things were going pretty badly for Philip IV and Count of Olivares. During their reign, Catalans and Portuguese defriended Spain, Andalusia and Palermo tried to ban them, Naples and Milan put their dislikes on the Spanish court. It was during this period that the Spanish crown lost most of its influence in Europe and actually went bankrupt. All in all, the only thing Philip IV and the creator of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg have in common, is just their looks. The second managed to concentrate huge financial power in his hands at a young age. The first — managed to squander it just as quickly.
On the right: Ignacio Zuloaga. Portrait of Doña Carmen Arconada (1940). On the right: Michael Cera

Michael Cera

The Spanish artist Ignacio Zuloaga was a traditionalist and, one might say, a retrograde. Having achieved success, he bought a medieval castle in Old Castile, supported the Franco regime during the Civil War; in brief — resisted changes as best he could. His work is also steeped in nostalgia for the "former Spain." Both at home and in Paris, Zuloaga was committed to the "vanishing nature", painted women in old-fashioned national dresses, authentic peasants, and bullfighting (for some time, while living in Seville, he himself was a torero). He shifted away from his favorite antiquity only once, when in 1940 for some reason he painted actor Michael Cera in a woman’s dress — it must have been a moment of weakness.
On the left: Barent Fabritius. Self-Portrait with a Big Hat (1650). On the right: Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

The Dutch artist, presumably Rembrandt's student, Barent Fabricius, definitely wasn’t overly modest and was his own favorite model. He often painted self-portraits — sometimes depicting himself as a simple shepherd, and sometimes as John the Evangelist. This work, created in 1650, is called Self-Portrait with a Big Hat. And although Fabricius generously let his nose stay, he can’t outwit us — the painting could easily be called Self-Portrait in the Image of Michael Jackson.
Author: Andrii Zymohliadov

Cover illustration: Raphael. Fresco The Cardinal and Theological Virtues. (1511)