Digital Artist Recreates Historical Figures Showing How They ‘Really’ Looked

Jake Levins October 11, 2020 6 No Comments

Digital Artist Recreates Historical Figures Showing How They ‘Really’ Looked

Before photography our ancestors depended on the imagination of artists to record their own life and times. Nowadays, the recovered and maintained creations of the previous artists function as a window. So, we could observe just how and what the folks across the world were like ages past. Unfortunately, not all of the artifacts can give us a transparent image of the individual or age they represent. After every single celebrity has a signature fashion when depicting their topic. So, historians and interested musicians are turning to digital artwork to offer historic characters more familiar and lifelike appearances. One such artist with this exploration is Amsterdam-established photographer Bas Uterwijk.

Digital artwork has flourished through the last few years and each celebrity has their own means to utilize the artwork medium. Some utilize it to flip real live people into caricatures. Others make mind-bending pictures that combine fantastical components and reality together. While, many lean Photoshop to make their own digital artworks. Bas can use it to his photography endeavors because he’s got a background in computer graphics, 3D animation and special effects. But he uses a more complex applications for fleshing out hot and historic figures. Through generative adversarial neural networks, he can eliminate the older artist’s eyesight to present what could almost certainly be the real face of the iconic topic.


So, that is the art that began it all, here’s the artist’s diversion of Billy that the Kid


along with also the Upcoming historic figure he changed was Napoleon


This Amsterdam-established photographer brings to life ancient and popular icons via digital artwork

He started experimenting with this kind of artwork in 2019. His initial matter was Billy that the Kid. The good result encouraged Bas to last. But that moment, the photographer made a decision to operate on someone who dwelt at the pre-photography period. So, Napoleon became his second subject. And while the results of the experiment was fine, he stated that it had been “not perfect”. So he chose to practice a little more before re-working his next diversion.


“I think the human face hasn’t changed dramatically over thousands of years and apart from hairstyles and makeup, people that lived long ago probably looked very much like us, but we are used to seeing them in the often distorted styles of ancient art forms that existed long before the invention of photography.”


The portrait beneath was initially created over 500 years back so it really shows how awesome that the digital technologies is.


But, it is not just historical figures which were altered but also video game figures to.


Bas uses generative adversarial neural networks to make lifelike recreations of popular historic figures

Bas utilizes Artbreeder, a program that utilizes Generative Adversarial Networks or GANs. Ian Goodfellow along with his coworkers made GANs back in 2014. This type of Artificial Intelligence has certainly changed the way we view digital artwork. You might not be acquainted with this particular innovation. But if you have used an program to immediately age yourself or flip to turn into a part of the other sex, and then you have used GANs. This is the very program that Bas utilizes to present his favorite popular historic figures their fleshed-out look. And that the photographer considers that GANs will function as “successor to photography”.


“These ‘Deep Learning’ networks are trained with thousands of photographs of human faces and are able to create near-photorealistic people from scratch or fit uploaded faces in a ‘Latent Space’ of a total of everything the model has learned.”




The artist utilizes artificial intelligence and neural networks to make a realistic human face. Most of this time that the program bases its end-product using the picture Bas inputs, with what it knows about faces look. The app also uses its own ‘knowledge’ about how light acts in photography to provide the most precise results.


Vincent Van Gogh along with other famous icons look more relatable through those digital recreations





This diversion of David Bowie is nearly ideal


Moreover, Bas has digitally altered non-human historic icons such as The Statue of Liberty

“I try to do everything as procedural as possible and let the AI do most of the work, but sometimes I need to cheat a little in Photoshop because GANs don’t do clothes or classical hairstyles yet.”


And Michaelangelo’s David



Here is that his version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein Monster


and Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Nukeman



“Although I see my creations as artistic impressions than as scientifically justified, in some cases, the results for me feel much closer to reality than most other methods that are used in reconstructions so far.”


The artist created a realistic depiction of Jesus Christ


In addition to this, he’s also managed to make convincing portraits of this Fayum Mummies


So, though his digital experiments definitely provide historic characters a more human look, Bas believes he still has quite a ways to go with respect to refining his digital recreations. According into the photographer, he wishes to catch the “essence” of this subject’s character such as the old masters did since shooting the subject’s character isn’t any artist’s supreme aim. Do you believe Bas has achieved this accomplishment? Which one of the recreations struck you the most? Tell us at the comments!

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