Fueled by his passion for history, photographer Drew Gardner recreated portraits of some of the world's most famous historical figures, featuring their direct descendants as models.

Getting ready for the series required much more than a few phone calls. Not only did Gardner carry out in-depth research tracing the direct descendants and verifying their lineage, but he also created sets with painstaking attention to the smallest of details. In the end, however, all of the hard work paid off. Sourcing the period costumes and props created such authentic backgrounds, they look like something straight out of a history book. Gardner even carefully analyzed the lighting in each original portrait and patiently recreated them as closely as possible, using all kinds of gear and techniques.

The end result is something that you'd find in the 'different but same' category. Of course, in a totally good way.

More info: drewgardner.com | Facebook | Instagram

#1

Thomas Jefferson (Left), 1800 And Shannon Lanier (Right) Sixth Great-Grandson Of Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson (Left), 1800 And Shannon Lanier (Right) Sixth Great-Grandson Of Thomas Jefferson

Drew Gardner Report

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
1 month ago

This is awesome! The history guides/docents at Jefferson's famed "Monticello" still turn colors and stutter if you ask a blunt question about Sally Hemings. If you don't know, look it up... Their white-marble-statue man must never be associated with anything but the Declaration!... So I visit there every other year and when they ask if we have questions, I ask, "Where did Sally Hemings and her kids by Jefferson sleep?" :-)

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You could say the series began 15 years ago when Gardner's mother told him that he looked a lot like his grandfather. "It got me thinking if I [really] looked like my grandfather and if people alive today would bear any resemblance to famous forebears," the photographer told Bored Panda.

There are a number of criteria based on which Gardner chooses the photos he's going to recreate but the more iconic an image is, the better. "It is important that no matter what the person’s achievement that there is a degree of recognition or familiarity. This is not always possible but it is my starting point."

#2

Charles Dickens (Left), 1858 And Gerald Charles Dickens (Right) Dickens's, Great-Great-Grandson

Charles Dickens (Left), 1858 And Gerald Charles Dickens (Right) Dickens's, Great-Great-Grandson

Drew Gardner Report

tuzdayschild
Community Member
1 month ago

Definite resemblance

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The Internet helps Gardner track down the descendants, but he also works with genealogists and museums. The true magic, however, happens when the photographer starts working with his models. The whole process allows Gardner to form strong connections with the people standing in front of his camera. "Any human connection tends to come about from conversation, so it is more as a result of the dialogue between the two of us in the days, weeks, months or even years running up to the shoot which gives me a 'window' to them as a person and when they expand on their understanding of their forebear, it does deepen the mutual understanding and connection we have, which clearly helps when it comes to the shoot," Gardner explained.

"Sometimes through the viewfinder, I feel a flash of recognition, though I am never sure if it is wishful thinking or more." As for the resemblance, Gardner leaves the viewer to make up their own mind on that. "I do not set out to say that the descendant does or does not look like their forebear."

#3

Emeline Pankhurst (Left) And Helen Pankhurst (Right) The Great-Granddaughter Of Emeline Pankhurst

Emeline Pankhurst (Left) And Helen Pankhurst (Right) The Great-Granddaughter Of Emeline Pankhurst

Drew Gardner Report

El Dee
Community Member
1 month ago

This actually just looks like two photographs of the same woman!!

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#4

Napoleon (Left), 1812 And Hugo De Salis (Right) The Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandson Of Napoleon

Napoleon (Left), 1812 And Hugo De Salis (Right) The Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandson Of Napoleon

Drew Gardner Report

Kevin Donegan
Community Member
1 month ago

The resemblance is striking.

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#5

Oliver Cromwell (Left), 1653-1654 And Charles Bush (Right) The Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandson Of Oliver Cromwell

Oliver Cromwell (Left), 1653-1654 And Charles Bush (Right) The Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandson Of Oliver Cromwell

Drew Gardner Report

El Dee
Community Member
1 month ago

Not so much except for the NOSE, which is exactly the same!!

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#6

Frederick Douglass (Left), 1863 And Reuben L. Andrews (Right)

Frederick Douglass (Left), 1863 And Reuben L. Andrews (Right)

Drew Gardner Report

Vanessa Yvonne
Community Member
1 month ago

This is Frederick Douglass, not "Fredrick Douglas"

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#7

Charles II (Left), 1653 And Lord Charles Fitzroy (Right) The 9 Times Great-Grandson Of Charles II

Charles II (Left), 1653 And Lord Charles Fitzroy (Right) The 9 Times Great-Grandson Of Charles II

Drew Gardner Report

CG2018
Community Member
1 month ago

Relative of Inigo Montoya? LOL

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#8

Liza De Giocondo (The Mona Lisa) (Left) And Irina Guicciardini Strozzi (Right) The 15 Times Great Granddaughter Of Liza De Giocondo

 Liza De Giocondo (The Mona Lisa) (Left) And Irina Guicciardini Strozzi (Right) The 15 Times Great Granddaughter Of Liza De Giocondo

Drew Gardner Report

Shelp
Community Member
1 month ago

Wow, how did they find her?

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#9

Berthe Morisot (Left), 1872 And Lucie Rouart (Right) The Great-Granddaughter Of Berthe Morisot

Berthe Morisot (Left), 1872 And Lucie Rouart (Right) The Great-Granddaughter Of Berthe Morisot

Drew Gardner Report

Mildred Thompson
Community Member
1 month ago

YES!

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#10

Arthur Wellesley 1st Duke Of Wellingston (Left), 1824 And Jeremy Clyde (Right) The Great-Great-Great-Grandson Of The 1st Duke Of Wellington

Arthur Wellesley 1st Duke Of Wellingston (Left), 1824 And Jeremy Clyde (Right) The Great-Great-Great-Grandson Of The 1st Duke Of Wellington

Drew Gardner Report

El Dee
Community Member
1 month ago

The resemblance is striking and, as with Napoleon, the build of the two is exactly the same!!

Maria R
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

None of them look alike.

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Brandy Dor
Community Member
1 month ago

Ohhhhhh definitely a Gryffindor!!!

TomiSmith
Community Member
3 weeks ago

Except for the better fed face, no mistaking there.

Doggo Georgia
Community Member
3 weeks ago (edited)

Yep. (Just curious if you meant 'beet' instead of 'better'. Remember, you can always edit your comments.)

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Jessica Cifelli
Community Member
3 weeks ago

Not gonna lie, I first read the name as Arthur Weasley, not Wellesley.

Stuart MacKenzie
Community Member
4 weeks ago

He should get together with Napoleon's Great-Great-Great-Great Grandson for a laugh. Fisticuffs outside Waterloo station. My money would be on the French fellow this time around however.

Mark F
Community Member
1 week ago

I could tell by the red hair and the hand-me - down robe

L Jennings
Community Member
3 weeks ago

WellingSTON??? Get the name right, ffs.

Diana Hockley
Community Member
3 weeks ago

Thye both look miserable!

Mildred Thompson
Community Member
3 weeks ago

YEP!

Edwin Quantrall
Community Member
4 weeks ago

I wonder if Messers. Clyde and De Salis have ever met...

Gloria J Williams
Community Member
4 weeks ago

it's so very clear, they certainly resemble each other.

Starlee87
Community Member
4 weeks ago

I see the resemblance big time

Tina Harbour
Community Member
4 weeks ago

No doubts here!

Carole Hamilton
Community Member
4 weeks ago

the descendant obviously didn't have his nose broken like the iron duke

Michelle Muirhead
Community Member
1 month ago

This is a very strong resemblance.

Dorothy Parker
Community Member
1 month ago

Very close in appearance and attitude.

Mónica Elisabeth Sacco
Community Member
1 month ago

Tell Napoleon up here!

Sam T Godfrey
Community Member
1 month ago

He must always go out of his way to look like Gramps. Maybe he's the tour guide aboard the HMS Victory! Oh, hate to nitpick but it's Wellington, no 's'.

Mildred Thompson
Community Member
1 month ago

Same pose that's for sure!

Daniel Clarke
Community Member
1 month ago

This comment has been deleted.

Tài Trần
Community Member
1 month ago

It would be great if the two descendants of Arthus Wellesley and Napoleon Bonaparte do a rematch. Well, in chess or game perhaps?

HC
Community Member
1 month ago

Jeremy Clyde as in Chad & Jeremy?

Lorraine R
Community Member
3 weeks ago

Yes!! see Wikipedia: Clyde was born in the village of Dorney in the English county of Buckinghamshire and was the son of Lady Elizabeth Wellesley. Through his maternal line, Clyde is the great-great-great-grandson of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, and is a cousin of the current Duke of Wellington. In 1953, he participated in the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II as a Page of Honour for his grandfather and carried his grandfather's coronet during the ceremony.

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Kylee
Community Member
1 month ago

"Arthur Wesley what muggle non-sense have you got yourself into now" - Molly Wesley

Wolfstar
Community Member
1 month ago

dunno why ur being downvoted, i thought it was kinda funny. but it's Arthur Weasley, not Wesley.

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See Also on Bored Panda
#11

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (Left), 1850 And Elizabeth Jenkins-Sahlin (Right)

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (Left), 1850 And Elizabeth Jenkins-Sahlin (Right)

Drew Gardner Report

Kathy Baylis
Community Member
1 month ago

Striking resemblance.

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#12

William Wordsworth (Left), 1798 Andtom Wontner (Right) Wordsworth's Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandson

William Wordsworth (Left), 1798 Andtom Wontner (Right) Wordsworth's Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandson

Drew Gardner Report

Andres Tejeda
Community Member
1 month ago

Actually they bare a very strong resemblance.

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#13

Horatio Nelson (Left), 1800 And William John Raglan Horatio Tribe (Right) Nelson's Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandson

Horatio Nelson (Left), 1800 And William John Raglan Horatio Tribe (Right) Nelson's Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandson

Drew Gardner Report

John D
Community Member
1 month ago

Is this 'Noratio Nelsom' the generic version of Horatio Nelson? Asking for a friend.

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#14

Isambard Kingdom Brunel, 1857 (Left) And Isambard Thomas (Right), Brunel's Great-Great-Great-Grandson

Isambard Kingdom Brunel, 1857 (Left) And Isambard Thomas (Right), Brunel's Great-Great-Great-Grandson

Drew Gardner Report

Kevin Donegan
Community Member
1 month ago

I'm more impressed by the size of the chain behind them. Wow!

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#15

Clive Of India, Robert Clive, 1773 (Left) And Robert Holden (Right) The Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandson Of Clive Of India

Clive Of India, Robert Clive, 1773 (Left) And Robert Holden (Right) The Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandson Of Clive Of India

Drew Gardner Report

Annemarie Mattheyse
Community Member
1 month ago

The major difference: Clive of India likely didn't have teeth...

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