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Historical figures get Instagram-ready makeovers (and they're weirdly addictive)

Have you ever wondered what Henry VIII would look like now? How about Julius Ceasar? It's difficult to imagine figures from history as having been real people. This is partly down to the styling of the era, the formality of their portraits, and also due to the medium used to depict them – it can be hard to connect with a marble sculpture or oil painting. 

But graphic designer Rebecca Saladin has given history new life with her Royalty Now project, which reimagines what historical figures would look like today. A highly original way to approach the art of character design (opens in new tab), the results are both amusing and fascinating – so much so we found comparing the new and old artwork weirdly addictive. 

Take a look for yourselves...

Saladin uses Photoshop to photo-manipulate well-known figures from history, bringing them to life with modern dress and styling. The renders bring the subjects firmly into the 21st century, changing the way viewers see, and potentially feel, about them. (To improve your own Photoshop skills, see our piece rounding up the best Photoshop tutorials (opens in new tab) around).

The Royalty Now Instagram account (opens in new tab) is packed full of these reimagined historical characters, and there are certainly some names you'll recognise. Queen Elizabeth I is in the mix. Known for her heavy makeup and over-the-top hairpiece, it's amazing to see her her completely stripped back and post-work-drink-ready.

Queen Elizabeth

Those curls are a modern take on Queen Elizabeth's usual hairpiece (Image credit: Becca Saladin)

This transformation of Henry VII into a suit is particularly amusing. A haircut and a smart attire is all it took to bring him up-to-date. 

Henry VII

Henry VII belongs in a business meeting (Image credit: Becca Saladin)

You can check out more of Saladin's work over on Instagram (opens in new tab), which contains renders that are way less disappointing than these real-life renders of animation bedrooms (opens in new tab).

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Vertex is the place to learn about 2D and 3D art (Image credit: Future)
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Join us in London for our unmissable event for 2D and 3D artists, featuring workshops from over 20 professional artists from film, video games, VFX and illustration. Book now: (opens in new tab) 

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Georgia Coggan is a regular freelance contributor for Creative Bloq, who has also worked on T3 and Top Ten Reviews. With a particular interest in branding and retro design, Georgia writes about everything from logo design to creative technology, enjoys hunting down genuinely good deals and has even used her knowledge as an ex-teacher to create buying guides on products including children's books and bookcases. Tying these design interests together is an obsession with London Underground posters from the last century.