January 22, 2023

Art portraits turned into smartphone selfies, the photo gallery



(Pocket-lint) – The art of the selfie has become as common as any traditional photo, but it’s still not a true art form. At least it wasn’t until one clever person decided to reimagine classic portrait art from a selfie perspective.

Danish designer Olivia Muus had the clever idea of making portraits look like they were being taken as selfies. By holding her camera up in front of portraits at the National Gallery of Denmark she’s created her own art form in the Museum of Selfies.

The art form has since caught on with other people imitating her technique at galleries all over the world. You’ve got to love how ingeniously simple but effective this selfie-snapping method is.

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We’ve compiled all the great snaps taken so far in a gallery so you can flick through to find your favourite. Maybe these will give you some inspiration to create your own. 

Museum of Selfies

Charles FitzRoy, 2nd Duke of Grafton

This is a painting of Charles FitzRoy, 2nd Duke of Grafton who was captured on canvas by Sir Godfrey Kneller in around 1703.  

The original painting certainly makes the Duke look like a bit of a poser, so the perfect subject matter for these selfie shenanigans. 

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Unimpressed with the latest

We’re not sure who this one is of, but she looks really unimpressed with whatever she’s seeing on her phone. Maybe the lighting isn’t right for her selfie. 

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Seated old Man by Pablo Picasso

Even slightly more abstract paintings aren’t safe from the smartphone selfie treatment. The hand might not match, but we’ll still forgive it for the amusing perspective this gives to Picasso’s work. 

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The boy means business

Here we see a young man in full military garb seemingly trying to look all serious while also snapping a selfie. Which seems perfectly apt. 

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Is this blasphemy?

Here we see a much more religious view of mother and child posing for a selfie. Perfectly standard in modern times but something that wouldn’t have even been contemplated when the painting was crafted. 

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Gerard Andriesz Bicker

Here’s a portrait of Gerard Andriesz Bicker that dates back to 1642. It shows a large and confident young man, but one who’s taking things very seriously. 

The perspective of the painting normally makes it look like he’s starting at the viewer, but now he appears to be staring at his phone instead. 

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Giovanni Bellini

This one is a painting of Venetian painter Giovanni Bellini, that was said to be crafted by Tizian in around 1511.

We like it because the artist appears to be staring wistfully off into the distance, perhaps daydreaming of better times while also snapping a selfie on an ageing iPhone. 

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A right regal selfie

There’s something brilliant about seeing these old-painted portraits being hilariously given a fresh twist with the simple addition of smartphone in the frame. 

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Felix Platter

Felix Platter was a Swiss physician who was well known for his work on the classification of psychiatric diseases. An important man whose likeness was captured here on canvas in 1584. 

Felix Platter certainly deserved a famous selfie, but this image certainly doesn’t show off his magnificent trousers.

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Statues get selfies too

It’s not just paintings that got the selfie treatment. Statues have had it too. 

This one of what looks like Neptune appears to be grabbing the phone in a fantastically dramatic way. 

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What would they think?

When seeing these photos we wonder what the original artist would have thought to see their work treated this way. 

For some hundreds of years have passed since they were originally made. Now they’re just a funny moment on the internet. 

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High class selfies

It’s not just the men getting the Museum of Selfies treatment. These high-class women are also posing for photos. 

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John Rolle Walter

John Rolle Walter was a Minister of Parliament in the 1700s. A man who apparently had fabulous taste in phone cases. 

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Catharina Behaghel

Catharina Behaghel was the wife of Rogier Le Witer, a wealthy merchant from Antwerp. Here she’s seen adorned with her expensive jewellery and in a fancy background too. The perfect backdrop for any selfie. 

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Alexander von Humboldt

Here we see Alexander von Humboldt, an intellectual and a polymath, geographer, naturalist, explorer and much more. 

This man lived quite a significant life and travelled the world as part of the Spanish American expedition. So it’s no wonder he’s so serious and sullen. 

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Distracted from life

The thing we like about these images is they could easily be photos of people in the real world. Staring at their phones, distracted from their everyday humdrum existence. 

The devil is in the details

This might well be one of our favourites, simply for the little touches that include a glow from the smartphone on the face of the lady in the portrait. 

Tiny phone?

Does this lady have a massive head or just own a really tiny phone? We can’t decide, but we found it amazing. 

Jesus does it differently

No one is safe from the selfies. Even Jesus Christ himself has taken the time to snap a photo. 

It seems like Jesus is a little bit different though as it looks like he’s posing for a solemn bathroom mirror selfie. 

Medusa

Looking at Medusa was meant to be bad for you, so maybe seeing herself in the rear-facing camera was bad news. 

Writing by Luke Edwards and Adrian Willings.





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