That Modern Look: What Historical Figures Would Look Like Today

By on May 8, 2013

To promote a new series called The Secret Life Of…, the British cable channel Yesterday commissioned graphic artists to update portraits of popular historical figures in order to depict what the personages pictured might look like if they lived in the 21st century. You are free to imagine an accident with a time machine, a deal with the devil that granted immortality or perhaps just a bizarre hiccup in the universe.

Admiral Horatio Nelson (1758-1805) was seriously wounded in the 1797 Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and lost most of his right arm, so in the 21st century, he has a modern prosthetic limb.

Historical Figures: Horatio Nelson in the 21st Century

Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) looks like she should be presiding over a meeting of a board of directors, rather than ruling over the British Empire.

Historical Figures: Queen Elizabeth I in the 21st Century

Meanwhile, King Henry VIII (1491-1547) could have portrayed David Brent in the original version of The Office, instead of Ricky Gervais.

King Henry VIII in the 21st Century

You’ve heard of Brooklyn hipsters? Meet Stratford hipster William Shakespeare (1564-1616); not pictured is the MacBook on which he writes his plays in the corner of the local coffee shop.

William Shakespeare in the 21st Century

Finally, Marie Antoinette (1755-1793) looks like she might well be out every night with Paris and Nicky Hilton.

Marie Antoinette in the 21st Century

The only problem with the above portrait is that we’ve already seen what Marie Antoinette would look like in the 21st century (pink Converse high-tops not pictured):

Kirsten Dunst as Marie Antoinette

About Jim Ellwanger

When I'm not out riding the rails, I'm finding cool stuff online.

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