Seeing Double: Meet 6 Art-Historical Celebrity Doppelgängers

If doppelgängers are likely to share DNA, what do A-listers have in common with their lookalikes?

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Portrait of Comtesse d'Haussonville (1845). Photo by VCG Wilson / Corbis via Getty Images.

Have you ever walked through a museum and thought you caught sight of your uncle, only to realise you’ve stumbled into a room of Rembrandts? “Doppelgänger” is a German word meaning “double walker” and it’s been found that when two strangers look remarkably alike they may well share DNA and personality traits as well as a face. We’ve scoured art history for the best celebrity doppelgängers we can find of today’s A-listers, and see whether they share any personal qualities with their lookalikes.


Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Portrait of Comtesse d’Haussonville (1845)
and Greta Thunberg

Left: Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Portrait of Comtesse d’Haussonville (1845). Photo by VCG Wilson / Corbis via Getty Images. Right: Greta Thunberg. Photo by Tim Whitby / Getty Images.

Fittingly, Thunberg’s doppelgänger essayist Louise de Broglie, Comtesse d’Haussonville, was also famously independent, outspoken, and liberal.


Ford Madox Brown, The Irish Girl (1860)
and Bella Ramsey

Left: Ford Madox Brown, The Irish Girl (1860). Photo via Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund. Right: Bella Ramsey. Photo by Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images.

When the artist was looking for a models for his painting Work (1863), he saw this child selling oranges in the street. Bella Ramsey’s a proud vegan, so perhaps a love of fruit and veg would have united this pair.


Amedeo Modigliani, The Boy (1919)
and Prince Harry

Left: Amedeo Modigliani, The Boy (1919). Photo by VCG Wilson / Corbis via Getty Images. Right: Prince Harry. Photo by Anwar Hussein / WireImage.

The unknown sitter in Modigliani’s portrait also has the face of someone who’s been called a “spare.”


Marie Bracquemond, Pierre Bracquemond as a Child (1878) and Keanu Reeves

Left: Marie Bracquemond, Pierre Bracquemond as a Child (1878). Photo via Obelisk Art History. Right: Keanu Reeves. Photo by Aaron Rapoport / Corbis via Getty Images.

Just like Marie Bracquemond, Keanu Reeves’s mother Patricia Taylor was a creative. She worked as a costume designer for huge stars like David Bowie.


Diego Velazquez, Portrait of Philip IV (1626-28)
and Mark Zuckerberg

Left: Diego Velazquez, Portrait of Philip IV (1626-28). (Photo by Christophel Fine Art / Universal Images Group via Getty Images. Right: Mark Zuckerberg. Photo by Josh Edelson / AFP via Getty Images.

We can’t quite put our finger on the personal similarity between Spain’s King Philip IV and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, but there’s something there–or rather, not there–behind their eyes.


Henri Lehmann, Composer Franz Liszt (1838)
and Timothée Chalamet or Daniel Radcliffe

Left: Henri Lehmann, Composer Franz Liszt (1838). Photo by Imagno / Getty Images. Right: Timothée Chalamet. Photo by Rich Fury/VF22/Getty Images for Vanity Fair.

We can’t choose between these two on who we’d want to play the composer Franz Liszt in a biopic. All three achieved huge successes when young: Liszt was performing in professional concerts from the age of nine, Daniel Radcliffe was 12 when he starred in the first Harry Potter film, and Timothée Chalamet was 14 when he made his first TV appearance as a murder victim on Law & Order.


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