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Dante Gabriel Rossetti Salutation of Beatrice Google Art Project

Here Are The Artworks Your Favourite Musicians Look Like (Or Not), According To Google

17 January 2018, 13:00

Ever wanted to know which masterpiece Sufjan Stevens looks like? Reckon Lorde looks like something straight outta The Louvre?

Thanks to the new Google Art & Culture app update, you can use your selfies to figure out which masterpieces you look like - but it's not limited to personal pics, so we tried it out with some of the biggest and best musicians to find out their painted doppelgängers, and it's turned up a few excellent results... and a few really bad ones.

Sufjan Stevens

Despite being a bit emaciated, Mednyánszky's portrait nails Sufjan - including his love of hats, the unkempt facial hair, and the world-weariness in his eyes.

Seated Gipsy With A Stick by László Mednyánszky

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Phoebe Bridgers

Maybe the colours in the source image affected this one, but there is a weird similarity we can't quite put our finger on...

Autumn by Jan Saenredam

Phoebe bridgers google art


BBC Sound Of 2018 winner Sigrid might have a youthful look, but she's actually 21. Not a freaking toddler like Google reckons.

Oil Portrait Of Young Girl by unknown

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David Bowie

This austere proto-selfie by Slovakian pioneer Mikuláš Galanda does have a smidge of Bowie about it, doesn't it?

Self-Portrait by Mikuláš Galanda

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St. Vincent

Meltsner was a keen painter of celebrities, and dancer/choreographer Martha Graham (who developed the Graham Technique) was a particular fave. Given St. Vincent's visual brilliance and her penchant for emotive, deliberate movements, perhaps Meltsner would've wanted to paint her too.

Martha Graham by Paul Meltsner

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Matty Healy from The 1975

Paul Cézanne - who greatly influenced modern art masters Matisse and Picasso - manages to capture The 1975 frontman in surprising detail... despite dying some 80+ years before Healy was even born. Now that's talent.

Portrait Romantique by Paul Cézanne

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TDE star and Kendrick Lamar labelmate SZA (who penned our favourite song of 2017) apparently looks like a sketch from globe-trotting Vienna-born artist Lene Schneider-Kainer... but we're struggling see it. Perhaps this vagueness is due to the app (and art history in general) being pretty Eurocentic - something that has already drawn complaints.

Girl From Marrakesh (Morocco) by Lene Schneider-Kainer

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Brazilian modernist and mural painter Carlos Bastos painted this in 2001 - when Stormzy would've been just eight. Has he got somehow managed to whip something up that bears a remarkable resemblance to the South London grime star? Or is this just more evidence of a lack of portraits featuring people of colour for the app to pick from?

Untitled by Carlos Bastos

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Florence and The Machine

Rossetti painted a helluva lot of portraits that look like like Flo, but they're actually based on his wife Elizabeth Siddal. Siddal died in 1862 after giving birth to a stillborn child (she overdosed on laudanum), and after falling into a deep depression, Rossetti began painting her... a lot. The idealised form of Siddal - as Dante's Beatrice - looks strikingly like Florence Welch to more modern eyes, meaning that there are a lot of portraits that could easily be mistaken for the "Dog Days Are Over" star.

Salutation Of Beatrice by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

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Winslow Homer has a reputation for his "accurate" and "unaffected" images of rural African American life following the American Civil War, which is good for him, but this still doesn't really look like Bey unless you stand 15 feet away and squint really hard.

Under A Palm Tree by Winslow Homer

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Damon Albarn

Add a bit more meat to Albarn's bones and this might just be a former self. We were half expecting one of the Gorillaz members to pop up, and we're kinda disappointed they didn't.

Self Portrait by Pierre Van Hanselaere

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Samuel T. Herring of Future Islands

Herring famously looks a bit like funnyman Steve Martin, but this was the best they could come up with... to be fair it's only a 38% match, which is basically a big fat zero on this app.

Item 08: [One Of The NSW Aborigines Befriended By Governor Macquarie] by unknown

Sam herring future islands google art

Nick Cave

Is this the best one yet? Cave's glower is perfectly snared in this quick sketch. The Aussie legend still has a bit more of his hair though.

Paco drawn by Zaafra

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Kele Okereke of Bloc Party

Romantic movement leader Théodore Géricault is undoubtedly a fantastic artist, but this particular pairing from Google is questionable. If we're being generous, maybe there's something in the eyes? Actually, the harder we look, the more it does look like a (significantly) older Kele... are our eyes playing tricks on us?

Portrait Study by Théodore Géricault

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Dua Lipa

Google, this is a cop out. Just because she's resting her head in her hand does not mean they look alike. Back to the drawing board here.

Woman On The Beach by José Cuchy y Arnau

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Charli XCX

It doesn't exactly look like Charli XCX, but Godward's Reverie certainly has that same 'I've got no time for your bullshit' look that the "Boys" singer does so well.

Reverie by John William Godward

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Father John Misty

Turns out quite a few bearded portraits look a bit like Father John Misty, and this one by Émile Bernard - a pal of Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Eugène Boch and, Paul Cézanne - veers on the uncanny. In a reversal of roles, we think Bernard on the right would be great at sarcastically crooning "Bored In The USA" while Mr. Misty could get his paintbrushes out to devastating effect.

Self-Portrait by Émile Bernard

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Another of Rossetti's works - what would he have made of today's musicians? - but this one's not quite as great a match as the Florence ones. Still, maybe it's a glimpse into what the future Lorde will look like. And no, it's not in The Louvre - this one hangs in the Delaware Art Museum. Missed opportunity there, tsk.

Water Willow by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

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Alex Cameron

Give him a shave and a mop chop and oddball extraordinaire Alex Cameron could pass for Bernhard von Reesen.

Bernhard von Reesen by Albrecht Dürer

Alex cameron google art

Taylor Swift

This is actually a painting of Taylor Swift when she's looking at someone get more attention than her.

The Conversation by Leon Kroll

So after playing about with this app we've come to one major conclusion that lots of others have also come to: it's pretty crap if you're not white. That said we are just feeding random shots through the filter, so maybe it'd work better with actual selfies? Then again, maybe not.

Try it out for yourself (US only), or browse the Google Art and Culture collection online.
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