Ever wondered what the model for Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic Mona Lisa looked like in real life? Or whether her smile was just as he painted it?
An extraordinary new digital art project aims to recreate classic portraits in photorealistic style, showing how some of the most famous painters and paintings in history would have looked had camera technology been invented in the 16th century.
The creative team, led by British digital artist Quentin Devine, included a photographer, a stylist and a makeup artist.
Together they recreated four classic paintings – Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, iconic self-portraits by grandmasters Rembrandt and Raphael, and Thomas Gainsborough’s The Blue Boy .
Each of the portraits was first painstakingly photographed using a lookalike model, with styling and makeup to match the original painting, before final touches were made by a digital artist.
The team focused on matching the styling, lighting, textures and overall composition of the paintings to produce the most detailed match of the original painting as possible, while staying true to a realistic photograph.
Each portrait took a total of 36 hours to complete.
According to the Daily Mirror newspaper, the project was commissioned by TV channel “Yesterday”, to encourage people to watch its new show Raiders of the Lost Art, which explores the fascinating history behind the world’s most iconic paintings.