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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 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

El Dee
Community Member
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 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

Shelp
Community Member
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months ago

Striking resemblance.

Luke Gibson
Community Member
3 months ago

Really? I think this is the one that looks least like them so far

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Heidi Bean
Community Member
3 months ago

She was brilliant! WomenPower...794517.jpg WomenPower-5f09979794517.jpg

Patricia Lees Salinis
Community Member
3 months ago

This is my great great great aunt, so I'm related to both of them.

Judith Wilson
Community Member
1 month ago

Nearly everything is almost exactly the same. Chin, jawline nose, eyes, and high forehead. Fantastic job on the hairstyle also.

SF Angel
Community Member
3 months ago

Oh my goodness YES

Diana Hockley
Community Member
3 months ago

Incredible resemblance.

Barbara Stewart
Community Member
3 months ago

Definite resemblance.

Patricia Lees Salinis
Community Member
3 months ago

220px-Eliz...aedb66.jpg 220px-Elizabeth_Stanton-5f0a78baedb66.jpg

Patricia Lees Salinis
Community Member
3 months ago

my great great great aunt.

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Teresa Groth
Community Member
3 months ago

So much resemblance!

Martha Higgins
Community Member
3 months ago

And what is their connection, if any?

Craig Olson
Community Member
2 months ago

Fourth great granddaughter maybe. I’ve seen a few of these in another article. It included a short video of her and Frederic Douglas’s descendent talking about their ancestors and theSeneca Falls convention.

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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
3 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
3 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
3 months 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
3 months ago

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

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