For most of us, our ancestors are a mystery. Even if we’re lucky enough to know their names, their biographical details are easily lost to time. I can only name one of my ancestors, a Union general in the Civil War named Thomas Rowley. His military career abruptly ended when he showed up to the Battle of Gettysburg drunk, was arrested by his own men, and later court-martialed. True story!
I’m just glad I’m not the only one bringing shame to the family name.
37-year-old Peruvian artist and photographer Christian Fuchs has an uncommonly close relationship with his ancestors. Being that he comes from a line of South American and European aristocrats, who regularly had their portraits painted, Christian grew up surrounded by the likenesses of his long-dead relatives. As a kid he would often wonder about these people’s lives–who they were, what they were like, how they lived. And that’s the inspiration for an art project where Christian recreates their portraits down to the smallest detail.
Christian begins the process by sourcing family letters, photographs, and heirlooms to gain a better understanding of his’ ancestors personalities. Then he assembles period-appropriate clothing and accessories–he even works with a local jeweler to make replicas of the bling his ancestors actually wore. Finally he takes the photo, and hangs it in a historically-accurate frame.
Check out the results of Christian’s labors below. If his ancestors could see them, surely they’d be impressed.
1. Who’s hungry for mutton chops?
2. Shades of Frida Kahlo.
3. This ancestor’s name was Lady Smug.
4. Making use of the fainting couch. Nice.
5. In the 18th century this is was considered a casual army uniform. The dress uniforms were even fancier.
6. Obligatory giant hoop dress.
7. A beard that long has many stories. Mainly about accidentally dipping it into a bowl of soup.
h/t: So Bad So Good