There’s something so fascinating about imagining popular historical events that we have only heard or read about. Many of us would have wondered at times how it would be like if we could just go back in time to witness a major historical moment or get to meet some popular historical figure. While that isn’t possible, we can give you the next best thing.
Graphic designer Becca Saladin, a self-confessed history buff, loves to re-imagine popular historical icons. Through her work, she has been transforming famous figures throughout history into modern-day people. Her creations make iconic historical personalities like Julius Caesar and Cleopatra appear as the common man and woman you would come across on the streets.
Saladin puts in a lot of research into each portrait, focusing particularly on the eyes, hair and, skin, and tries to learn as much about their looks as possible. In cases where not much information was available for a particular figure, the artist takes some creative liberties.
Saladin started her Instagram page, Royalty Now, back in February 2019 to see how her favorite historical figure, Anne Boleyn, would look like as a modern-day woman. Since then, she’s gained tremendous popularity and has been trying to bring various historical people to life through her work. Let’s take a look at some of the artist’s best portraits here.
1. Julius Caesar. He was a renowned general of the Roman Empire who went on to become a dictator and conquered the vast region of Gaul. His 40-year rule was cut short when he was brutally assassinated by his opponents in 44 B.C.
2. Nefertiti. She was an Egyptian queen alongside Pharaoh Akhenaten from 1353 to 1336 B.C. and is believed to have ruled the New Kingdom (also referred to as the Egyptian Empire) after her husband's death. She is still regarded as one of the most mysterious and powerful women in ancient Egypt.
3. Queen Elizabeth I. She was a long-ruling queen of England who claimed the throne in 1558 at the age of 25 and held it until her death 44 years later. She brought stability and prosperity to the country during her reign.
4. Napoleon. Also called Napoleon I, he was a French military leader and emperor who is known for conquering a vast majority of Europe in the early 19th century.
5. Louis XV. Also known as Louis the Well-Beloved, French Louis le Bien-Aimé was the king of France from 1715 to 1774. His rule is regarded as inefficient and is believed to have triggered the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789.
6. Julia Agrippina. Fondly remembered as Agrippina the Younger, she was a powerful Roman empress who was one of the most influential women in the Julio-Claudian dynasty (27 B.C.–68 A.D.).
7. Abraham Lincoln. He was an American statesman who went on to become the 16th president of the United States. A very popular figure, Lincoln, who played a great role in abolishing slavery, served the country from 1861 to 1865.
8. Henry VII. Also called Henry Tudor, he was king of England from 1485–1509 and helped in ending the Wars of the Roses between the houses of Lancaster and York. He also founded the Tudor dynasty.
9. Alexander the Great. He was an ancient Macedonian ruler who is considered one of history's greatest military minds. Born in 356 B.C., Alexander was charismatic, ruthless, and brilliant and had a voracious dream of world supremacy. Unfortunately, he died at age 32 under mysterious circumstances.
10. Cleopatra. Fondly remembered as the Queen of the Nile, she is one of the best-known women in history. Famous for her breathtaking beauty, Cleopatra assumed control of Egypt in 51 B.C. and continued her reign till her death in 30 B.C.
11. Augustus. Also called Octavian, he was the first emperor of ancient Rome who came to power after the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C. He was one of the most successful Roman leaders and is known to have led the transformation of Rome from a republic to an empire.
12. Mona Lisa. The model who posed for the world-famous oil painting by Leonardo da Vinci was Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo, a wealthy Florentine merchant.
13. Queen Victoria. She was the queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1837–1901) from 20 June 1837 until her death. It was during her reign that Britain witnessed a social and industrial transformation.
14. Benjamin Franklin. He was an American scientist, inventor, politician, philanthropist, and businessman. Franklin is credited with drafting the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution.
15. Queen Mary I. She is known as the first-ever Queen of England to rule in her own right. Also known as Mary Tudor, she was the queen of England from July 1553 until her death in 1558. Unfortunately, she is still most remembered for burning nearly 300 English Protestants at the stake for heresy. That one act earned her the nickname “Bloody Mary.”
Check out more works of artist Becca Saladin on her Instagram page.
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