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?" :-)

tuzdayschild
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

One of Sally Hemings descendants works at Monticello now as one of the historians.

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Osgood_7
Community Member
1 month ago

Quick history lesson: Sally Hemings was a biracial slave who at 14 was more or less forced into a relationship with the then 40-year-old Jefferson. She bore him at least five children. Meanwhile Jefferson spent most of his life declaring that relationships between blacks and whites "produced degradation" and that white women were more beautiful than black women. (Stamped from the Beginning, Ibram X. Lendio) Real swell dude.

K Witmer
Community Member
1 month ago

Why is this getting downvoted? Poor sally was forced to live in a dungeon under the sweltering hot kitchen while being raped by Jefferson. His own kids were indentured servants to his household as well. Sick gross man.

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carebear
Community Member
1 month ago

Shannon Lanier is a handsome man.

Avery Day
Community Member
1 month ago

much more handsome than his ancestor

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Alex K
Community Member
1 month ago

the netflix adaptation

Debster
Community Member
1 month ago

I live right down the road from Monticello and can tell you when I first went in 2008 or maybe the next year they didn't talk about Sally. My kids classes went every year. And I would always go. Things are different now. There is now a museum thing for kids to interactive experience what kid slaves went through. The Jeffersons and Hemmings have been having reunions for years too. Google it.

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
1 month ago

Yeah, I'm in Charlottesville, and I got a real Old School docent in 2019.

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Anna Dimino
Community Member
1 month ago

Good looking dude.

Wolfstar
Community Member
1 month ago

GEEZ, I thought that was Leslie Odom Jr. as Aaron Burr. Forgive my ignorance (and for being a HAMILFAN!!!)

chillchillpill
Community Member
3 weeks ago

Handsome bugger, inne.

Wendy J Shores
Community Member
1 month ago

His descendant is even better looking than he was!

El Dee
Community Member
1 month ago

Obviously many generations apart but the shape of their heads still have similarity. It makes me wonder how similar I am to my own ancestors..great pics!

Miss Cris
Community Member
1 month ago

This is the only interesting one. By the way, what did jefferson thought about black people?

Jane W.
Community Member
1 month ago

Her kids by Jefferson remained slaves until he freed them in his will. Yikes!

Ben Raines
Community Member
1 month ago

... and the Sally Hemmings myth continues to be repeated.

Aria Whitaker
Community Member
1 month ago

And the Sally Hemmings truth continues to be denied....

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Patricia Sweeton
Community Member
1 month ago

Look at that jaw line.

Dawn Boyer
Community Member
1 month ago

Would love the descendancy chart for this - and the other family members - otherwise it could simply be 'fake news' (e.g., a 'news' media posted a picture of how a direct descendant of Abraham Lincoln looked 'today' and that was fake - Lincoln has NO living direct descendants!)

Matthew Brown
Community Member
1 month ago

Hooooly shit. I guess in the new hamilton TJ was black

Jessica Cifelli
Community Member
1 month ago

Why does the grandson look like a young version of Denzel Washington?

Gloria J Williams
Community Member
1 month ago

Oh yes totally, totally believable and verifiable.

Aria Whitaker
Community Member
1 month ago

With the DNA evidence that they have...yes, yes it is. You DO know DNA doesn't lie, right?

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Todd Hollfelder
Community Member
1 month ago

Is Monticello part of the National Park Service? If it is, there are limits as to what the employees can and can't say... even if it is a confirmed fact. The feds don't want to deny or endorse certain things.

Tina Harbour
Community Member
1 month ago

Even though we don't know if Thomas or another Jefferson was the actual father,his eyes,mouth,and chin are crazy similar!

Aria Whitaker
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

We DO know. Sally told us, multiple times. There are those that chose not to believe her, but that is another denial for another day.....

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Donna Repsher
Community Member
1 month ago

Years ago, on What's My Line?" there was another direct descendant of Thomas Jefferson who looked exactly like him and I knew it as soon as he came onstage.

Linda Bartlett
Community Member
1 month ago

Handsome fellow on the right!

jevais
Community Member
1 month ago

What a difference between Thomas and his 6th great, great grandson. The grandson was luck to have African blood, he is so handsome.

Marsha Brown
Community Member
1 month ago

That strong jaw-line and chin! Seems to be a dominant trait, after six or seven generations.

Dorothy Parker
Community Member
1 month ago

Two noble looking men. Similar mouths, brows.

Sam T Godfrey
Community Member
1 month ago

Hard to see a resemblance after all those generations, but I definitely see two men of great character, intelligence, and imagination. I don't know how I see it but I do...

ispeak catanese
Community Member
1 month ago

There's a resemblance.

Mónica Elisabeth Sacco
Community Member
1 month ago

He was a slaver. Period.

CanidaeVulpes
Community Member
1 month ago

Because not everything is as clear cut as we like to think: https://www.npr.org/2020/06/29/884634146/the-founding-contradiction-thomas-jeffersons-stance-on-slavery

Yayaboobo
Community Member
1 month ago

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Ronald Sapp your last name is so appropriate you are hateful and you sound particularly hateful. Too bad the DNA tells the real story and so many of his white relatives have acknowledged this. So go nurse your sad white wounds punk ass bitch.

Margaret O'Connor
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

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This is a very popular idea but it just doesn't hold up. Given the number of Jefferson's male relatives and what is known about his character, it is unlikely Thomas Jefferson fathered any black children.Thomas Jefferson was known for his rectitude and kept company with statesmen and scholars. His younger brother was known for being dissolute and for keeping company with slaves. Hemings said that "Jefferson" was the father of her children. "Jefferson" probably refers to Randolph Jefferson, who lived 20 miles from Monticello and socialized with the slaves there. In addition, he had the same Y-DNA as his brother, Thomas. Hemings' family believed that their ancestor was a "Jefferson uncle". According to research, Randolph and his sons were often at Monticello, and Isham Randolph Jefferson (1781-1852) lived at Monticello during his childhood. He was 15 at the birth of Heming's first child and 27 at the birth of her last child. So, while this story appeals to modern imagination and fits "the narrative" it probably just isn't true.

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
1 month ago

First: "His character". Thomas Jefferson's associations with scholars doesn't mean he didn't have sex with a slave. There's no logic to that. His public person and his private one were separate. Second: Randolph lived 20 miles from Monticello. In that era, that was not a quick trip. We also can't confirm Randolph was around Hemings during the times her children would have been conceived. Third: Thomas Jefferson's own records are oddly blank about paternity. Fourth: Thomas was at Monticello more than his brother. Proximity. Fifth: Sally was, by race, majority European race, and very fair. Her children passed as white. That indicates she would have been far more likely a "choice" for a concubine by *any* male of the time. Thomas included. Finally: Such liaisons were often kept "at home", that is, where one lived ----- making it likely Randolph Jefferson kept his behavior at home, and out of his brother's, and vice versa. The idea holds up. It isn't palatable to some, but it holds up.

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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!!

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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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