History is a tricky thing. Not only is it written by the winners, but it’s can also seem so far away and unrelatable that it’s nearly impossible to view it as anything but a collection of stories. You rarely think of historical figures as real people with problems and feeling, to us they’re just these characters who did massive things that might’ve changed the history. But Becca Saladin, a graphic designer, decided it was about time someone challenged that idea. So she decided to use photoshop to see what famous historical figures would look like now.
She first got the idea when she couldn’t find any good portraits of her favorite historical figure – Anne Boleyn. Anne was the second wife of King Henry VIII, and she was unfairly executed just so that the king could marry again. Anne is often described as vivacious, witty and charming, but her portraits are very pale and flat and fail to showcase her real personality and spirit.
So she sat down and used her photoshop skills to Anne’s advantage and tried to imagine what she would look like if she lived in modern times. Once she was done she realized that’s something she could do with other famous historical figures. After all, even if the portraits are somewhat ok, the setting, the pose, the background and the clothes in them are still so old it doesn’t feel real. That’s how the Instagram account Royalty Now was started. Now she has almost 200K followers and it just keeps growing. Here are some of her works with her respective captions.
Here’s Becca’s version of Anne Boleyn that she posted on Instagram with a caption: “ I hope nobody here will get tired of my Anne Boleyn posts…she is my favorite historical figure so you may get quite a few 🙂 Many people asked me last time I posted Anne if I really thought her features (specifically her lips) were really that delicate – and I don’t think they were. Tudor portraiture often de-emphasized these features, so I modified my finished version to reflect what I think is probably her more likely appearance.”