Batman, Superman, and the Hulk Get the Old Master Touch

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SupermanPhoto: Sacha Goldberger via Sad and Useless
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Photo: Sacha Goldberger via Sad and Useless
Batman and Robin
Photo: Sacha Goldberger
CatwomanPhoto: Sacha Goldberger via Sad and Useless
Catwoman
Photo: Sacha Goldberger
ChewbaccaPhoto: Sacha Goldberger via Sad and Useless
Chewbacca
Photo: Sacha Goldberger
HulkPhoto: Sacha Goldberger via Sad and Useless
The Hulk
Photo: Sacha Goldberger
The JokerPhoto: Sacha Goldberger via Sad and Useless
The Joker
Photo: Sacha Goldberger
R2-D2Photo: Sacha Goldberger via Sad and Useless
R2-D2
Photo: Sacha Goldberger
Spiderman Photo: Sacha Goldberger via Sad and Useless
Spiderman
Photo: Sacha Goldberger
SupermanPhoto: Sacha Goldberger via Sad and Useless
Superman
Photo: Sacha Goldberger

Think superheroes are best on a comic’s page or a 3-D silver screen? You might want to reconsider. The French photographer Sacha Goldberger has reimagined our most beloved superheroes and fantastic characters in the guise of Renaissance figures to hilarious results. Although this isn’t the first time superheroes get spoofed (see “Comic Book Superheroes Get the Pin-Up Girl Treatment“), it’s definitely original.

The artist gives a rather aristocratic air to cosplay, asking “What if Superman was born in the 16th century?” “What if the Hulk was a Duke?” “How might Van Eyck have portrayed Snow White?” on his website.

The resulting series, Super Flemish was shown last week in School Gallery’s Paris Photo booth. In it, Goldberger shows us a handful of icons of popular culture, including Superman, the Joker, and Catwoman, dressed and photographed in the lush style of Flemish paintings. Goldberger has also carefully replicated the techniques of Old Master portraits, so the photographs echo the dramatic compositions and lighting of the period.

The contrast is certainly amusing: Chewbacca and R2-D2 sporting white neck ruffs, Batman and Robin posing defiantly in Elizabethan-style uniforms, a forlorn Hulk looking introspective in Tudor-esque short baggy trousers, and more.

Goldberger writes “The superheroes often live their lives cloaked in anonymity. These portraits give them a chance to ‘fix’ their narcissism denied. By the temporal disturbance they produce, these images allow us to discover, under the patina of time, an unexpected melancholy of those who are to be invincible.”

Check out some of the images from the series in the slideshow above and don’t forget to mark your calendars for next year’s National Batman Day (see “Worcester Art Museum Celebrates National Batman Day“).

For more images see “Wolverine, Princess Leia, Superwoman and Other Superheroes Get the Old Master Touch Part II”.


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