28 hilarious images of celebrities Photoshopped into Renaissance paintings



(Pocket-lint) – Each year there’s a Photoshop contest over at DesignCrowd where artists create brilliant new works of art by putting celebrities into old renaissance paintings.

The results are something really special. We’ve collected some of our favourites from the last few years for you to enjoy. If you like what you see, we’d highly recommend having a browse through the archives

Albrecht Dürer/hoosier64

A portrait of a mother

This painting might well be one of the oldest on our list. It dates back to somewhere around 1490 and shows Barbara Dürer, mother of German painter Albrecht Dürer. The updated version including an improved and enhanced vision with Angelina Jolie in her place. 

Vicente López Portaña/underworth

A romantic view of Anthony Hopkins

This is another brilliant Photoshopping edit of a classic oil painting. The original image was a portrait of Francisco Goya, a famous Spanish painter. We really like the new version that includes Anthony Hopkins. Not just because he looks magnificent, but because the Photoshopper also went to the trouble of updating all the colours and hue in the image too. 

Joseph Karl Stieler/dnunciate

Brad Pitt the thinker

The original subject of this painting was Alexander von Humboldt was a polymath, geographer, naturalist, explorer and much more besides. He was a highly thought of German thinker and a man of influence. His likeness has been replaced with Brad Pitt who looks a lot more mischevious, but certainly a dash more intellectual than usual. 

El Greco/ashurst

Portrait of Christian Bale

The original oil painting here is thought to be from around 1600 and shows a portrait of Jorge Manuel Theotocopoulos by Greek artist known as El Greco. The new version shows a fun-loving Christian Bale who oddly looks more like an angry vampire than a chilled out painter. 

Albrecht Dürer/Mandrak

A portrait of theburgomaster

The original oil painting, the Portrait of Jakob Muffel, was crafted by German Renaissance master Albrecht Dürer in 1526 and shows the local burgomaster (mayor) of Nuremberg. Now updated and tweaked it features a wise-looking Michael Cane.

Joseph Wright/Suedetess

A portrait of Gillian Anderson

There’s no denying that Gillian Anderson looks fairly stunning on canvas, but what we really like is the effort this Photoshop editor put into the tweaks. Including changes to the skintone, addition of the necklace and even accounting for the different hairstyles. 

Joseph Karl Stieler/Dm2

Ludwig Van Jagger

In a rather fitting Photoshopping, one artist who goes by the name Dm2 transformed this portrait painting of Ludwig van Beethoven by swapping the pianist with the founder of the Rolling Stones – Sir Mick Jagger. 

Rembrandt van Rijn/The Getty Center/JK640

Patrick Stewart in a military costume

The original image here is a famous Rembrandt painting titled “An old man in military costume” and shows his father in his full regalia. It’s been wonderfully updated here with Patrick Stewart magnificently worked into the painting instead.

Diego Velázquez/JeremyC

Portrait of Innocent Tom Cruise

The original oil painting was lovingly crafted by Diego Velázquez in 1650 and shows pope  Giovanni Battista Pamphilj. The updated version shows a fun-loving Tom Cruise, in his place. Fun fact Tom Cruise actually wanted to join the priesthood at one point in his life, so this Photoshopping is actually fairly fitting.  

William Sidney Mount/simeondunn25

Childish Gambone Player

This Photoshopping tweaks William Sidney Mount’s The Bone Player replacing the original subject with Donald Glover. We wonder if Mr Glover would have been this happy to perform for audiences in this way.

George Dawe/harun ar

General-Field Marshal Pitt

We love how majestic this Photoshopping makes Brad Pitt look, seen here with full military gear, medals and all in place of Prince Pyotr Mikhailovich Volkonsky.

George Dawe/Hidreley Diao

General Spock

Another classic painting of a famous general transformed into a new vision of a modern celebrity. Leonard Nimoy certainly looks pretty special in full military garb.  

Edouard Louis Dubufe/qwertyop

Keanu Reeves behind closed doors

Keanu Reeves sure is breathtaking. Somehow even more so in a magnificent dress and painted in oil. The original painting was Portrait of Madame F, by Edouard Louis Dubufe that was created in 1850. We wonder what the artist would think of the tweaks to his painting.  

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio/

Caravaggio and Bean

This original image dates all the way back to 1593 and shows an early self-portrait work by artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.  It is said this image was painted while the artist was extremely ill and done in a mirror. Reimagine with Mr Bean/Rowan Atkinson, the image certainly takes on more life. 

Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun/thejohndevil

A portrait of a youngAmanda Seyfried

Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun painted a “Portrait of a young woman” in 1797, over two hundred years later Photoshop whizz thejohndevil updated it with the likeness of American actress and signer-songwriter Amanda Seyfried. This one is fairly convincing – like those images that purport to show celebrities who never age. 

William-Adolphe Bouguereau/netodark2012

A young Emma Watson

A young lady is painted undressing before a bath in 1900 by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. Later she is reimagined with the face of a young Emma Watson. Harry Potter would probably have enjoyed this one. 

Peter Paul Rubens/Mandrak

A portrait of a young scholar

This original painting from 1597 shows a young scholar posing for a portrait. The modern reimaging shows actor Jude Law sporting one heck of a magnificent beard.  

Joseph Karl Stieler/MA1947

Wolfgang von Gibson

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a talented writer capable of creating works of poetry, prose and memoirs as well as treatises on botany, anatomy and colour. This painting of him by Joseph Karl Stieler from 1832 shows a well-worn and well-read man of note. The update vision includes a cheerful Mel Gibson, probably chortling at a well-written script. 


A self-portrait of Stallone

Another famous Rembrandt painting gets the Photoshop treatment and updated with the likeness of another well-known celebrity. There’s no denying, Stallone looks great in oil. 

Cäsar Willich/Mandrak

Richard Wagner vs Huge Laurie

This fairly magnificent portrait of famous German composer Richard Wagner was created by Cäsar Willich in 1862. Somehow it’s a perfect fit for actor Huge Laurie. We wonder what he’s looking at with such awe. 

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn/Hidreley Diao

A portrait of Sir Elton John

Dutch artist Rembrandt was a prolific painter and is, even hundreds of years after his death, considered to be one of the greatest visual artists to have ever lived. One of his many works included this portrait of an old lady, thought to be Aechje Claesdr. She wasn’t a particularly happy lady by the looks of it, but then she probably had to sit still for a long time to be painted like this. Elton John, on the other hand, loves being the center of attention. 

P. P. Rubens/gooddesign

Sir Edward Thomas Hardy

Tom Hardy certainly looks magnificent reimagined in oil painting form. The original portrait of Gaspard Schoppins dates back to around 1605 and somehow is the perfect fit for Hardy’s face. 

Giovanni Battista Moroni/Paulie Cashews

Seth Rogan in a dress

It’s not actually too hard to believe that Seth Rogan would dress up like this. And he actually looks fantastic too. 

Peter Paul Rubens/SheilaJames03

Portrait of Lady-in-Waiting

We have a real soft spot for Emma Stone and somehow she’s even more magnificent as a Lady-in-Waiting circa 1625. Certainly looks like she’s up to more mischief than the original subject of the painting. We also enjoy how much effort the editor put into the Photoshopping too – even adding oil painting lines onto Emma’s face. 

Édouard Manet/CheapShotInc

The Spanish Singer

Many of these artists have put a lot of effort into their image editing. It’s not just taking the original oil painting and popping a new head on the subject but also updating and enhancing the colours and surroundings. This original painting “The Spanish Singer” was crafted on canvas by Édouard Manet in 1860, then enhanced by CheapShotInc with the addition of Woody Harrelson. 

François-Xavier Fabre/Fichtenbrenner

Portrait de Steve Carrell

French painter François-Xavier Fabre crafted this fantastic portrait of Edward Fox Fitzgerald in 1815. Two centuries later Photoshop master Fichtenbrenner replaced his face with that of the hilarious Steve Carrell. 


Grant Wood/binxwilson

American Gothic with the Wests

A classic American painting dating back to 1930 shows a man and his daughter standing with a stern look on their faces, while holding a pitchfork outside their home. The amusingly Photoshopped version features an always stern-looking Kayne West and his wife Kim Kardashian.  

Raffaello Sanzio/Leonardo Dias

Deadpan Deadpool

Ryan Reynolds fits perfectly into the theme of these renaissance styled paintings. He certainly looks more fun-loving and cheeky than Baldassare Castiglione, the original subject of Raffaello Sanzio’s original painting. 

The original painting was seen as one of the greats of the Renaissance period. But in our mind, the updated version is even more appealing. 

Writing by Adrian Willings.


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