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Historic London Paintings Layered Atop Contemporary Photos

Redditer shystone remixes old and new London for us in a delightful mash-up that pairs historic paintings of the city with its modern counterpart. A resident of London, they took their love of art and knowledge of the metropolis and found the locations that the 18th and 19th century works depict. Shystone then layered the paintings on top of the contemporary photographs, and often, the two matched up well – even down to a tree or a railing. Sometimes, they are intermingled for even greater effect. We see this above with The River Thames with St. Paul's Cathedral on Lord Mayor's Day (1746) by the painter Canaletto, where shystone erased part of the image to blend the current path along the river's edges with the riverscape of long ago.

We already think of London as a historic city, and this unique mash-up illustrates just how much it's stayed the same. Of course, there have been some changes, like demolished buildings that made way for new roads and infrastructures. Additionally, we're missing the famous Big Ben clock, because at the time of the paintings it wasn't built yet. But, when laid side by side, shystone offers a fascinating reminder that we are always living among the past.

Shystone on Imgur and Reddit
via [Lost at E Minor]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. 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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