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

Alex K
Community Member
7 months ago

the netflix adaptation

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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

Kesam
Community Member
7 months ago

It's Dickens' or Dickens's, not Dicken's. Also, it's great-great-grandson, not great, great, grandson (athough I'm sure he's also really great).

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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

CG2018
Community Member
7 months ago

Same eyes!

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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
7 months 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

Brendan
Community Member
7 months ago

Can you imagine being the descendant of a monster?!

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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

BravePanda
Community Member
7 months ago

This is 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
7 months 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

Phoebe Bean
Community Member
7 months ago

Wow!

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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

El Dee
Community Member
7 months ago

Looks like the ancestor was younger in the painting but overall this one is amazing!!

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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

Brandy Dor
Community Member
7 months ago

Ohhhhhh definitely a Gryffindor!!!

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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
7 months 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
7 months 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
7 months 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
7 months ago

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

bryguy
Community Member
7 months ago

Once you look at it like the chains are normal size and he is very tiny, it's hard to see it the other way

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Sam T Godfrey
Community Member
7 months ago

Something's definitely missing. Junior doesn't show the determination of the old man. He doesn't look like he has the talent and education to make anything out of an Erector set. Yeah, I'm old, I know! erector-5f...38b5d6.jpg erector-5f0915538b5d6.jpg

Doggo Georgia
Community Member
7 months ago

The funny thing is, before covid, they had those at the last museum I went to.

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Jim Ellington
Community Member
7 months ago

What kind of heartless jackass names their child thusly?

Mme de Poppadom
Community Member
7 months ago

A heartless jackass who values and honors family traditions, and is proud of a family name with positive connotations, I guess, JIM.

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Shinomi Chan
Community Member
1 month ago

It's like they photoshopped the face a bit higher

Jon Wong
Community Member
7 months ago

what labour in them chains, one can only imagine

Batwench
Community Member
7 months ago

Would like to see a height comparison between the two.

Rebecca Embury
Community Member
7 months ago

I live on Isambard, which crosses with Brunel... now I know why!

Kathleen Campbell
Community Member
7 months ago

1st photo looks like Alec Baldwin to me.

Kathleen Campbell
Community Member
7 months ago

1st photo looks like Alec Baldwin to me.

Mya Lugar
Community Member
7 months ago

That's not a chain. that;s a sweater under a magnifying glass.

Peter Kealey
Community Member
7 months ago

They're both chain smokers.

Dorothy Parker
Community Member
7 months ago

The contemporary looks more luke Hugh Laurie.

Becky Hendrickson Monska
Community Member
7 months ago

The original favors Daniel Baldwin to me.

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Mildred Thompson
Community Member
7 months ago

YES!

Katherine Boag
Community Member
7 months ago

Brunel's brain is sexy af

Doggo Georgia
Community Member
7 months ago

Typo? His brain?

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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

Brandy Dor
Community Member
7 months ago

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Wow he doesnt look indian at all!

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