Crumbling busts and centuries-old portraits are usually the best glimpses we get of historical figures, but what if we told you that you could see these greats in the flesh? Graphic designer Becca Saladin has created a stunning project called Royalty Now that crafts breathtaking images of what history's heroes and villains would have looked like today. You'll never see the past the same way again.
1. Marie Antoinette
Though she's known for living an excessive and materialistic lifestyle while her subjects struggled to survive, this French queen wasn't anywhere near as corrupt as her critics made her out to be. But that didn't matter to the guillotine. Following the overthrow of the French government, Marie Antoinette was beheaded at 37 years old, as ordered by the Revolutionary Tribunal.
"Marie Antoinette is one of my all-time favorite subjects," artist Becca Saladin wrote on her blog. She revealed, "I wanted to create some in-her-own-time images that use more of her real-life appearance rather than the stylized version." You can see her work on her YouTube channel, Royalty Now Studios.
2. Julius Caesar
A celebrated general in the Roman military, Julius Caesar was elected as the Consul of Rome in 59 BC. While initially a popular ruler, his thirst for power led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. No longer able to withstand his tyrannical rule, dozens of Roman senators stabbed him to death in 44 BC.
Despite this horrible end, though, Julius Caesar has lasted long in the public's imagination. Artist Becca Saladin also noted on her Instagram that this rendering "has been a fan favorite for some time."
Believed to have lived from 1370 BC until approximately 1330 BC, Nefertiti was an Egyptian Queen and the Great Royal Wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten. Together, this royal couple became famous for their religious revolution. They attempted to shift Egypt from its polytheistic practices to the monotheistic worship of the sun god, Aten.
"I wanted to make both past and modern versions of the stunning queen from the front view of the bust which I haven’t done before," Saladin revealed on her blog.
4. Alexander The Great
Widely recognized as one of the greatest military leaders in history, Alexander the Great became the King of Macedonia in 336 BC after his father was assassinated. Despite being just 20 years old at the time of his coronation, Alexander became an exemplary commander, conquering Persia and Egypt to create the largest empire the ancient world had ever seen.
"It's definitely safe to assume there is some stylization going on with images of Alexander, considering his huge reputation and penchant for depicting himself as god-like," Saladin said on her blog. But she tried to bring something real to her recreation.