30 Historical Figures Reimagined As Modern Day People

Published 4 years ago

Before photography was invented, we had to rely on sculptures, paintings and written descriptions to figure out how some famous historical figures looked like. This, of course, did not come without some misinterpretations. For example, people are still uncertain what Napoleon’s real height was after all these years. Graphic designer and history lover Becca Saladin, however, decided to try her own hand at recreating some well-known historical figures as modern day people and you’ll have to agree that the results are pretty impressive.

Becca says she has been fascinated by history and archaeology since she was a child. “I think humans perceive the past as a series of events; something like a movie that we can’t really feel or touch,” says the artist. “I believe the things that bring us closer to the past are those that truly humanize us – the bodies from Pompeii, the perfectly preserved Inca mummies, the personal objects of those long gone, and more.”

The woman started Royalty Now back in February of 2019 just to see how her favorite historical figure, Anne Boleyn, would look like as a modern day woman. “I wanted to know if she could come to life from the few pale, flat portraits we have of her,” says Becca. What started as a project to satisfy her own curiosity eventually led to her gaining nearly 69k followers on Instagram. Becca says she’s thankful for the support and interest in her work and can hardly wait to see what happens next.

See the historical figures reimagined as modern day people in the gallery below!

More info: Instagram

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#1 Nefertiti

“This bust of Nefertiti (believed to have been sculpted during her lifetime) is famous for its grace and beauty. Nefertiti lived from approximately 1370 – 1330 BC. She was an Egyptian queen and the wife of Akhenaten, an Egyptian Pharaoh. Akhenaten is famous for his attempt to transition Egypt into a monotheistic society (worshipping only the sun god, Aten), instead of a polytheistic one.”

#2 Julius Caesar

#3 Queen Elizabeth I

#4 Alexander The Great

“I did some research on his looks and it is recorded that he had curly golden hair and heterochromia (one eye blue and one eye brown or a combo of both), so he was definitely a striking figure.”

#5 Agrippina The Younger

“Agrippina the Younger is someone I only recently learned more about but she had a crazy life. She was the sister of Emperor Caligula and the mother of Emperor Nero. I highly recommend giving her a search if you’re interested in that era of Roman history!”

#6 Jane Austen

#7 Anne Boleyn

#8 Madame De Pompadour

“Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, better known as Madame de Pompadour. She first caught the eye of Louis XV at a masked ball in 1745 (it was said that she was dressed as a domino, and he was dressed as a plant) and was his chief mistress thereafter until 1751. Even after she was no longer Louis’ mistress, she was a trusted friend, confidante, and advisor, essentially becoming one of the most powerful women at the French court until her death in 1764.”

#9 Mary, Queen Of Scots

#10 Empress Elisabeth Of Austria

“During her life, Elisabeth (known as Sisi), was known for being beautiful, smart, rebellious and passionate. Definitely worth some digging into if you are interested in late 1800s Europe.”

#11 Louis XIV, The Sun King

#12 Katherine Of Aragon

“This portrait of Katherine of Aragon, wife of King Henry VIII and Queen of England from 1509-1533, has always been my favorite. There are several portraits of her that all range in looks, so it’s hard to tell her true likeness. I think this one captures her piety, meekness, and obedience as documented by historians.”

#13 Louis XV

“Louis XV is lesser known than his predecessor the Sun King and his heir, Louis XVI, but he was the second-longest reigning monarch in French history. I have always known him by his famous mistresses, Madame De Pompadour and Madame du Barry.”

#14 Catherine Parr

“She was the only wife to outlive the king, who was tyrannical in his last years.”

#15 Marie Antionette

#16 The Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov

#17 Emperor Augustus

“Emperor Augustus (born Octavius, the great-nephew of Julius Caesar) was the first emperor of Rome, ending 500 years of republic. He’s an incredibly controversial figure, especially due to the smart and ruthless way he came to power, but he ruled over a time of relative peace in the Roman empire.”

#18 Queen Isabella Of Castile

“Queen Isabella of Castile, partner to Ferdinand II of Aragon and the queen who sent Columbus on his way to the “new world” in 1492. ”

#19 Abraham Lincoln

“Abe Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the nation through the American Civil War, its bloodiest war and its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis. He preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the U.S. economy.”

#20 Christina Of Denmark

“Christina of Denmark, seen here in an original Hans Holbein portrait, lived from 1521 – 1590. Christina was considered as a possible bride for King Henry VIII of England. Christina was not fond of the English King’s reputation, given that he had divorced his first wife and beheaded his second wife. The originator of one of the greatest quotes about King Henry in history, Christina famously said: “If I had two heads, one should be at the King of England’s disposal.” What an amazing denial to a marriage proposal.”

#21 Madame Du Barry

“This is Madame du Barry – the official mistress of Louis XV after his first love, Madame de Pompadour’s death.”

#22 Eleanor Of Toledo

“Eleanor of Toledo was an astonishing woman. Originally from Toledo, Spain, she was a bride to a famous member of the Medici Family, Cosimo I de Medici. Her husband regularly consulted with her on matters of politics, and she even served as consort during his time away from Florence.”

#23 Katherine Howard

“Katherine Howard (c. 1523 – 13 February 1542) was Queen of England for only 16 months as the fifth wife of Henry VIII. Katherine was actually the cousin of Henry’s second wife, Anne Boleyn. When they married, he was 49 and she only 16 or 17. Katherine was accused of adultery and executed by the King, ending her short reign as the Queen of England.”

#24 Caligula

“Caligula, infamous brat and Roman Emperor.”

#25 Napoleon

“Did you know that Napoleon was most likely 5’7″? That’s taller than King Louis XIV. Some say his perceived smaller stature was due to him looking small in comparison to his huge accomplishments. Others say there was an error when translating his true height from French to English. Who do you think he looks like here?”

#26 Benjamin Franklin

#27 Henry VIII

#28 King Henry VII

“Here we are with Henry VII, the first tudor monarch, a frequent request from you all. Henry was the last king of England to attain the throne in battle after defeating Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485.”

#29 Mona Lisa

#30 Grace Kelly

“Grace Kelly, American film actress and Princess of Monaco.”

Aušrys Uptas

One day, this guy just kind of figured - "I spend most of my time on the internet anyway, why not turn it into a profession?" - and he did! Now he not only gets to browse the latest cat videos and fresh memes every day but also shares them with people all over the world, making sure they stay up to date with everything that's trending on the web. Some things that always pique his interest are old technologies, literature and all sorts of odd vintage goodness. So if you find something that's too bizarre not to share, make sure to hit him up!

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abraham lincoln, Agrippina the Younger, alexander the great, Anne Boleyn, archaeology, Becca Saladin, Emperor Augustus, historic pictures, historical art, historical figures, historical figures in modern world, history, julius caesar, King Henry VII, Louis XV, Mona Lisa, nefertiti, recreation, royalty_now_
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