This Website Uses AI to Transform Any Picture into a 15th-Century Portrait

AI Portraits of Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves. (Photos: Stock Photos from Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock (left) and AI Portraits (right))

With the internet buzzing about the viral FaceApp, which uses AI to predict how anyone will look in 30 years, there's another service that will transform you into a work of art. If you've ever dreamed of how your portrait would look if it were painted by one of the great masters, this app is for you. AI Portraits uses information from over 45,000 15th-century masterpieces to help “paint” the portrait of any photo that's uploaded.

While there are plenty of apps and filters that promise to make your photo into a work of art, AI Portraits distinguishes itself with its GAN models. Many services use style transfers that alter colors, but leave the facial lines untouched. AI Portraits actually determines the best style for the portrait by analyzing the features and the background. This makes for completely unique and artful 4K portraits done in the style of the Old Masters.

The service was developed and created by MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab’s Mauro Martino, Emanuele Del Sozzo, and Owen Cornec, as well as Luca Stornaiuolo from Politecnico di Milano and Liza Gazeeva. The team focused on 15th-century portraiture as it was a period in art history when realistic depictions of individuals emerged. Interestingly, they point out that portraits of smiling or laughing individuals were rare and so encourage modern users to experiment and see what results occur when uploading these types of images.

Lady Gaga as a Classical Portrait

Lady Gaga. (Photos: Stock Photos from Andrea Raffin/Shutterstock (left) and AI Portraits (right))

“Portrait masters rarely paint smiling people because smiles and laughter were commonly associated with a more comic aspect of genre painting, and because the display of such an overt expression as smiling can seem to distort the face of the sitter,” they write. “This inability of artificial intelligence to reproduce our smiles is teaching us something about the history of art.”

For those who are concerned about the privacy and safety issues that have come up in regards to FaceApp, the creators of AI Portrait are putting users at ease. “Your photos are sent to our servers to generate portraits,” states their privacy policy. “We won’t use data from your photos for any other purpose and we'll immediately delete them.”

So with that, feel free to upload away and see how you'd look as a classical portrait.

AI Portraits is a website that uses artificial intelligence to transform photos of anyone into a classical 15th-century portrait. Take a look at what some of today's biggest celebrities look like.



AI Portraits of Beyoncé

Photos: Stock Photos from DFree/Shutterstock (left) and AI Portraits (right)


Tom Cruise

AI Portraits Website

Photo: Dick Thomas Johnson from Tokyo, Japan [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons (left) and AI Portraits (right)

Kit Harington

AI Portraits Website

Photos: Sachyn [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons (left) and AI Portraits (right)

Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian Using AI Portraits

Photos: Stock Photos from J Stone/Shutterstock (left) and AI Portraits (right)


Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

AI Portraits The Rock

Photos: Eva Rinaldi [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons (left) and AI Portraits (right)

AI Portraits: Website
h/t: [Design Taxi]

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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