When you point your camera at a random thing on the street, you usually don’t expect much. But in the vast sea of dull photos that fill your camera roll, one stands out. Call it a miracle, or a lovely surprise, but if you feel like the pic is superior in composition, style, lighting, and somewhat resembles a classical painting, it may be that you have just encountered “accidental renaissance.”

Thanks to the devoted community r/AccidentalRenaissance that seeks the thrill of photography that “accidentally resembles the types of art popular from the 14th-19th centuries,” we now know it’s a thing and not a mere coincidence. Created in 2014, the subreddit now has 748k “universalis personae,” aka members, who like looking for dramatic compositions, complex narratives, sophisticated lightning, and pictorial colors in everyday snaps.

So scroll down to see what the buzz is all about and after you’re done, don’t forget to check part 1 of Accidental Renaissance highlights such as “Pizza Night With The Woofers” and “The Lost Supper.”

#3

Our Cat Trying To Steal Cheese

Our Cat Trying To Steal Cheese

Openminded_skeptic Report

Raine Soo
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I love this snap of the kitty. I just want to hug her/him.

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To find out more about the r/AccidentalRenaissance subreddit, Bored Panda reached out to its moderator u/openminded_skeptic. He told us that the subreddit was founded based upon a post from August 2014 that featured a picture showing a fight in the Ukrainian Parliament.

“Several people in the post expressed interest in a subreddit featuring photos that accidentally resembled Renaissance art (although the actual photo technically is more along the lines of Baroque art in coloring and lighting, the Golden Ratio spiral superimposed on it notwithstanding), and this subreddit was created.”

Throughout the past 6 years, the community has evolved in several ways. “First, the definition of 'Renaissance' has expanded to cover art styles from the 14th-19th centuries as the sub has risen in popularity,” u/openminded_skeptic explained.

#4

Oranges Photographed Through The Glass Panes Of A Greenhouse

Oranges Photographed Through The Glass Panes Of A Greenhouse

mikeleus Report

#5

Blinky In The Sun. Our Pupper Passed Away This Morning. I Always Thought This iPhone Photo Of Him Looked Like A Painting

Blinky In The Sun. Our Pupper Passed Away This Morning. I Always Thought This iPhone Photo Of Him Looked Like A Painting

awheelz84 Report

#6

Accidentally Took A Picture Of My Cat That Looks Like An Old Master's Painting

Accidentally Took A Picture Of My Cat That Looks Like An Old Master's Painting

hueftenspeck Report

Boudica
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

'If I don't turn around, they won't see that I did, in fact, get the cheese after all' ;-)

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Secondly, the rules have now expanded to more easily enable moderation of what would be considered Renaissance. “It’s in the eye of the beholder,” said the moderator.

And thirdly, “I (u/openminded_skeptic) was added as a moderator as an April Fool's joke in 2018 due to my username being almost identical to the founder's (u/openmindedskeptic), and have more or less overtaken the subreddit.” In 2019, the companion subreddit to r/AccidentalRenaissance called r/Pet_Renaissance was created as “a place for people to post artistic pet photos.”

u/openminded_skeptic explained that for the purposes of r/AccidentalRenaissance, the community allows other genres from the 14th-19th centuries, as well as high-quality or timely popular photos or posts at times at the moderators' discretion.

#7

Feline Friendship

Feline Friendship

crazy_turtle Report

#9

A Caring Matriarch

A Caring Matriarch

shy-latte Report

Kisses4Katie
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

VERY much this one. Check out the golden ratio going on!

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As for the Renaissance photos, “generally, there's an emphasis on symmetry, balance, saturated colors (although early and high Renaissance used lighter, brighter colors while late Renaissance generally used darker, richer colors, but they were always saturated, not diluted), a focus on linear perspective and leading lines to help create a more 3-D image, balanced composition, and lots of references to classical Greek and Roman art and architecture.”

Even though there are no professional art historians on the moderator team, u/openminded_skeptic assured us that “Some of us have a few art history courses under our belts, as well as an interest and appreciation for fine art and history.”

#10

We'll Be Home Soon

We'll Be Home Soon

kartofun69 Report

#12

A Monk In Italy. (Photographer: Steve Mccurry)

A Monk In Italy. (Photographer: Steve Mccurry)

santino_jann Report

He also added that moderating subreddits usually falls to one of three types of people: “those very passionate about the subject of the subreddit and wanting to help keep it relevant (I consider this to be me!), those who just love Reddit in general and want to help keep it going, or those who for one reason or another value a sense of prestige or having authority over others."

#13

The Creation Of Internets

The Creation Of Internets

Plastic_Mouldsman Report

#14

A Little Girl Carrying A Lamb To Shelter From Falling Ash During Iceland's 2010 Volcanic Eruption

A Little Girl Carrying A Lamb To Shelter From Falling Ash During Iceland's 2010 Volcanic Eruption

takemedady Report

Raine Soo
Community Member
2 years ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Brave girl. I hope that everyone is alright.

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#16

Firefighters Taking A Break Out West

Firefighters Taking A Break Out West

Rat_Cat_Batman Report

wandile dludlu
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Being a firefighter is weird... you might spend weeks without any hard things to do... but when it gets hard, it really gets hard

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#17

13th Attempt To Break The Gaza Blockade By Sea

13th Attempt To Break The Gaza Blockade By Sea

radonchong Report

Martha Meyer
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This looks like the famous French revolution painting with the half naked woman.

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#19

Mr. Fluffies Betrayal

Mr. Fluffies Betrayal

Mustbetheweather3 Report

#20

Reflect

Reflect

Bozhark Report

#22

This Lady Peeling Pomegranates

This Lady Peeling Pomegranates

jacobyh7 Report

#23

Two Mice Fighting.

Two Mice Fighting.

sk8boy102 Report

Whovian
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This, for me will always be Stuart

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#25

A Monk Prays For An Elderly Man Who Had Died Suddenly While Waiting For A Train In China.

A Monk Prays For An Elderly Man Who Had Died Suddenly While Waiting For A Train In China.

milsyway Report

Christel Nellemann
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Not sad, only for possible family left behind. But what if he was all alone and in pain , now he is at peace and someone is there for a goodbye prayer. Death is not bad in it self, and hopefully , the relations left here will accept quickly and remember him with love.

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#26

Supper At Home

Supper At Home

watsin_aname Report

#27

Snapped This Moment During My 12 Day - 110 Mile (800 Head Of Cattle) Drive From Utah To Arizona

Snapped This Moment During My 12 Day - 110 Mile (800 Head Of Cattle) Drive From Utah To Arizona

crazyoldmaurice Report

#28

Power From On High: Two Weed Farming Nuns

Power From On High: Two Weed Farming Nuns

alterego_001 Report

#29

Vasiliy Is Still Breathing

Vasiliy Is Still Breathing

gibgod Report

Samantha Lomb
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This one does really look like a pre-revolutionary romantic painting.

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#30

Russian Soldier Playing An Abandoned Piano In Chechnya

Russian Soldier Playing An Abandoned Piano In Chechnya

ultralightdick Report

#33

A Young Man, Illuminated By Mobile Phones, Recites A Poem While Protestors Chant Slogans Calling For Civilian Rule, During A Blackout In Khartoum, Sudan

A Young Man, Illuminated By Mobile Phones, Recites A Poem While Protestors Chant Slogans Calling For Civilian Rule, During A Blackout In Khartoum, Sudan

Somali_Pir8 Report

#34

The First Batch (The Bakehouse In Vancouver)

The First Batch (The Bakehouse In Vancouver)

DyslexicSquirrel Report

#35

Stumbled Upon A Fair In Brussels Recently. Truly Accidental Renaissance For Me!

Stumbled Upon A Fair In Brussels Recently. Truly Accidental Renaissance For Me!

jotwing13 Report

Mary Peace
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Looks like one picture from a 'Spot the Difference' puzzle.

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See Also on Bored Panda
#36

My Girlfriend's Uncle Took A Photo Of This Monk At A 13th Century Monastery

My Girlfriend's Uncle Took A Photo Of This Monk At A 13th Century Monastery

mtkeepsrolling Report

Raine Soo
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Well, a monk at at 13th century monastery already sets the ambience.

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#37

Seated Jester

Seated Jester

CosmicRustle Report

#38

Keanu Reeves Ascends To Save Mankind

Keanu Reeves Ascends To Save Mankind

worstwerewolf Report

Mangoes'nRum
Community Member
2 years ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You mean he descended to Earth to save mankind. He's not dead. Touchwood.

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#39

Friend Took This Photo Of Me Napping The Other Day, Was Told I Should Post It Here

Friend Took This Photo Of Me Napping The Other Day, Was Told I Should Post It Here

goldilocksdeluxe Report

#41

Chinese Policemen Visiting The Remote Region Of Xinjiang To Spread Awareness Of The Coronavirus (2020)

Chinese Policemen Visiting The Remote Region Of Xinjiang To Spread Awareness Of The Coronavirus (2020)

docteurfake Report

#43

In The Train,india

In The Train,india

yehbikgayehaigormint Report

MiniMaus
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What a great photo! I love this. The colours!!!!

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#44

Stevie Nicks Photographed At A Fleetwood Mac Concert In 1978

Stevie Nicks Photographed At A Fleetwood Mac Concert In 1978

dancovzz Report

#45

Dearly Beloved

Dearly Beloved

SirBroDude Report

Mary Peace
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is beautiful, the flowing dresses, the positioning, it's really well balanced.

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#48

King James Falling Into The Seats Looked Like Some Sort Of Renaissance Composition

King James Falling Into The Seats Looked Like Some Sort Of Renaissance Composition

GallowBoob Report

Bacony Cakes
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

King James receiving gifts from the followers, 1503.

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#49

Japanese Opposition Members Trying To Block The Passing Of New Immigration Laws

Japanese Opposition Members Trying To Block The Passing Of New Immigration Laws

berryjam Report

Belandriel
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Uh... don't know the details behind this, but that's not how democracy works

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#50

A Feast In The Capital City

A Feast In The Capital City

median401k Report

Samantha Lomb
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Cold McDonalds does not betoken opulence. I'm so glad this clown will soon be gone

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Note: this post originally had 122 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.