People Are Snapping “Accidental Renaissance” Photos That Look Like Paintings From Art History

Photos can be deceiving. Sometimes, an image will look like it’s been taken in a completely different era—despite being shot with an iPhone. And like most things in life, there’s a subreddit for this aesthetic. Today’s photos on yesterday’s canvas, aka r/AccidentalRenaissance, showcases images that “inadvertently resemble well-composed Renaissance style art.”

According to the community guidelines, any photo recalling art movements between the 14th and 19th centuries is welcome. This includes Baroque, Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Dutch Golden Age, and beyond. Take a quick scroll in the subreddit and you'll see that Redditors understand the assignment; they share photos that could easily be mistaken for a painting in art history.

Some of the most convincing entries are pictures in which people unknowingly pose like dramatic subjects from centuries-old paintings. One of the most popular examples is a woman sitting by the window on a Lviv-bound train. Buoyed by a bulky garment (likely a coat), she has her head in her hand as she gazes downward. The positioning of her body reads as a Fibonacci sequence; this makes it not only aesthetically pleasing, but it recalls some of the greatest Renaissance art like the Mona Lisa or the Sistine Chapel ceiling by Michelangelo.

Scroll down for more of Today’s photos on yesterday’s canvas, and then visit the subreddit to share your own.

Photos can be deceiving. Sometimes, an image will look like it’s been taken in a completely different era—despite being shot with an iPhone.

There's a subreddit for that.

Called Today’s photos on yesterday’s canvas, aka r/AccidentalRenaissance, it showcases images that “inadvertently resemble well-composed Renaissance style art.”

According to the community guidelines, any photo recalling art movements between the 14th and 19th centuries is welcome.

Redditors clearly understand the assignment and are sharing photos that could easily be mistaken for a painting in art history.

Today's photos on yesterday's canvas: Reddit
h/t: [Twisted Sifter]

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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