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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 months ago

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

Drive Bee
Community Member
4 months ago

Eyebrows, forehead, general face shape. Lots of similarity.

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Brendan
Community Member
4 months ago

Can you imagine being the descendant of a monster?!

Amy Taft
Community Member
4 months ago

We all are. Everyone is descended from some monstrous person. No doubt multiple monstrous people. Probably the majority of my ancestors were shitty people. They were definitely racist and sexist, etc. The probability of all of your ancestors being good people is not worth calculating. Granted, not all shitty ancestors were influential enough for their shittiness to cause damage on a large scale.

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Ella Blackwood
Community Member
4 months ago

Not an exact likeness, but considering how far down the line his descendant is, one would have to admit that there are definitely some features that stayed in the family.

Lorraine R
Community Member
4 months ago

Grandson looks like a much pleasanter character than Oliver.

Curious Cat
Community Member
4 months ago

more "greats' than Tony the Tiger

Mildred Thompson
Community Member
4 months ago

WOW! Quire a resemblance I'd say!

Mama Panda
Community Member
4 months ago

The years should read 1653-1658

Rcatheron
Community Member
4 months ago

He only lived five years?

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Mildred Thompson
Community Member
4 months ago

Oh my goodness - even after All of those generations!

Naomi Cline
Community Member
4 months ago

Same nose!

Chantel Cummings
Community Member
4 months ago

I wouldn't claim any relationship with Cromwell.

June Galloway
Community Member
4 months ago

Oh my! after all those (greats) still looks just like his ancestor

TomiSmith
Community Member
4 months ago

Has his mothers eyes.

Mildred Thompson
Community Member
4 months ago

11 generations - WOW!!!

Barbara Stewart
Community Member
4 months ago

Ehh not so much.

Gloria J Williams
Community Member
4 months ago

The picture on the left if aged a little more would definitely be a match.

Debbie Hayden
Community Member
4 months ago

Wow. Very regal.

Sonyah Maree
Community Member
4 months ago

same nose and receding hairline and thin top lip but that is all.

Dog Lover
Community Member
4 months ago

Great!

Aynne Pryce
Community Member
4 months ago

Similar forehead

Martha Higgins
Community Member
4 months ago

The nose has it!

Only If Panda
Community Member
4 months ago

who is the only one who read all the great in the title? is it only me? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

BoredPundits
Community Member
4 months ago

I did, too! Nine "greats". Wow!

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Sandra Llewelyn
Community Member
4 months ago

We need this man in parliament now

Sarah Grace Marsh
Community Member
4 months ago

That is a lot of greats lol

BJ Smith
Community Member
4 months ago

Murdering SOB...

Coco
Community Member
4 months ago

The same evil look

Fixin'Ta
Community Member
4 months ago

Oliver Cromwell was a horrible person.

Debster
Community Member
4 months ago

Nose and lips

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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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 months ago

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

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