Famous historical portraits get 2013 makeover

By on Friday, May 3, 2013

Famous paintings throughout history have been updated in an art project commissioned by TV channel Yesterday to celebrate its new historical series Secret Life Of, a programme looking at the ‘hidden lives of history’s fascinating and notorious figures’, working with agency Taylor Herring.

The rights to five of the best known portraits of famous historical figures were bought, after which a team of digital artists spent three months updating the classic portraits of Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth I, William Shakespeare, Marie Antoinette and Horatio Nelson. The artists worked with historian Dr Suzannah Lipscomb to update the images in line with known characteristics, guessing at how the figures might look if they were alive today.

As you can see in the images below, Shakespeare became a hipster, Marie Antoinette was given a boob job and Elizabeth I became a ginger Ellen DeGeneres. UK national coverage was impressive, with the Metro, Mail, Sun and more picking the story up.

HENRY-VIII-low-res pr stunt yesterday


ADMIRAL-LORD-NELSON pr stunt yesterday

SHAKESPEARE yesterday pr stunt

MARIE-ANTOINETTE yesterday pr stunt

ELIZABETH-I pr stunt yesterday

Involved agency: Taylor Herring

More information is available in the press release here.

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