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Classical Paintings Reimagined with People Covered in Tattoos

As tattoos become increasingly popular and socially acceptable, the more you'll see them on everyday people. Though this might seem like a recent phenomenon, scientists have verified the age of the world's oldest tattoos, and they're much older than 100 or even 200 years. According to the Smithsonian, a European Tyrolean Iceman who was buried beneath a glacier near the Austrian-Italian border had 61 tattoos on his body–and that was back in 3250 BC.

Looking at famous artworks from the 17th and 18th century, you'd never know that people sported body art. They don't appear in da Vinci's Mona Lisa or Carvaggio's dramatic paintings. Nude models were never seen with a full back tattoo… until now. Advertising art director Nicolas Amiard has reimagined history with his clever mash-up series called The Art of Tattoo, in which subjects from classic paintings sport modern ink.

The Photoshop master envisions tribal designs, Japanese-inspired scenes, floral motifs, and written word tattoos on some of the most famous portraits in the world. His fusion between history and modernity is seamless, and the tattoos look as though they were always part of the paintings. Bound by gilded gold frames that are hung on a gallery wall, The Art of Tattoo offers an alternative reality in which body art is the norm and has been celebrated throughout time.

Nicolas Amiard: Website | Behance
via [The Huffington Post, designboom]

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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