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Familiar faces come to life in newly colored photos

In living color! Student brings old images of famous people, including Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin and a young David Attenborough, to life by coloring them with oil paint

  • Classic Mads Madsen, 25, living in Denmark, has colored hundreds of images by hand
  • Was inspired after watching videos on Reddit and seeing another artist’s work ‘blew him away’
  • Revealed, he often chooses which monochrome photos to color based on the color of a person’s eyes

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A Danish student with a fascination for ‘beautiful eyes’ has colored black and white photos of familiar faces including Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn.

The 25-year-old Mads Madsen, who lives in Denmark, has been working on magic by hand on hundreds of oil paintings since he discovered the technique online.

Among his collection are also depictions of British national icons David Attenborough and Audrey Hepburn, as well as American astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon.

Madsen said Bored Panda he was browsing Reddit when he found old photos colored by an elderly woman. He said her work “blew him away” so he started trying the technique himself.

Mads, who is studying for a master’s degree in classics, said he chooses which photos to color based on the person’s eyes.

“I’ve always had a fascination for beautiful eyes, which is why I choose most of my photos,” he said. Check out some of his best photos below.

Mads Madsen, 25, living in Denmark, has hand-painted hundreds of images with oil paint since she discovered the technique online. Pictured: Hollywood superstar actress Marilyn Monroe in 1957. She passed away in 1962

Mads Madsen, 25, living in Denmark, has hand-painted hundreds of images with oil paint since she discovered the technique online. Pictured: Hollywood superstar actress Marilyn Monroe in 1957. She passed away in 1962

Hollywood legends Paul Newman and Clint Eastwood are pictured above in 1972, when they met outside a motel in Tucson, Arizona, 1972

Hollywood legends Paul Newman and Clint Eastwood are pictured above in 1972, when they met outside a motel in Tucson, Arizona, 1972

Hollywood legends Paul Newman and Clint Eastwood are pictured above in 1972, when they met outside a motel in Tucson, Arizona, 1972

Deafblind author Helen Keller greets British actor Charlie Chaplin in 1919 in this newly colored snap

Deafblind author Helen Keller greets British actor Charlie Chaplin in 1919 in this newly colored snap

Deafblind author Helen Keller greets British actor Charlie Chaplin in 1919 in this newly colored snap

Mads said he often chooses which photos to transform based on the color of the subject's eyes. In the photo: British broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough strokes around 1950

Mads said he often chooses which photos to transform based on the color of the subject's eyes. In the photo: British broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough strokes around 1950

Mads said he often chooses which photos to transform based on the color of the subject’s eyes. In the photo: British broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough strokes around 1950

Born in 1929 and died in 1993, Audrey Hepburn was a British film and fashion icon. Shown here in a new colored portrait

Born in 1929 and died in 1993, Audrey Hepburn was a British film and fashion icon. Shown here in a new colored portrait

Born in 1929 and died in 1993, Audrey Hepburn was a British film and fashion icon. Shown here in a new colored portrait

British author and journalist George Orwell, whose real name was Eric Arthur Blair, wrote the iconic 1984 book. Shown here in one of Mads' colored images

British author and journalist George Orwell, whose real name was Eric Arthur Blair, wrote the iconic 1984 book. Shown here in one of Mads' colored images

British author and journalist George Orwell, whose real name was Eric Arthur Blair, wrote the iconic 1984 book. Shown here in one of Mads’ colored images

American pilot and aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart (pictured) was the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic. She disappeared in 1937 while trying to travel the world

American pilot and aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart (pictured) was the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic. She disappeared in 1937 while trying to travel the world

American pilot and aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart (pictured) was the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic. She disappeared in 1937 while trying to travel the world

Neil Armstrong flew on NASA's Apollo 11 mission in 1969 and was the first man to walk on the moon

Neil Armstrong flew on NASA's Apollo 11 mission in 1969 and was the first man to walk on the moon

Buzz Aldrin (right) flew with him and was the second man to walk on the lunar surface

Buzz Aldrin (right) flew with him and was the second man to walk on the lunar surface

Neil Armstrong flew on NASA’s Apollo 11 mission in 1969 and was the first man to walk on the moon. Buzz Aldrin (right) flew with him and was the second man to walk on the lunar surface. Shown in newly colored images

Albert Einstein imagined he was laughing at a dinner party

Albert Einstein imagined he was laughing at a dinner party

The genius depicted in 1948

The genius depicted in 1948

The physicist Albert Einstein, whose general theory of relativity supports modern science, can be seen in the right photo in 1948. On the left, he is seen laughing at a dinner party. The date is unknown

English mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing, who helped crack the German Enigma code in World War II while working for the British government in Bletchley Park

English mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing, who helped crack the German Enigma code in World War II while working for the British government in Bletchley Park

English mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing, who helped crack the German Enigma code in World War II while working for the British government in Bletchley Park

Electrical engineer Nikola Tesla sits with Roger Boskovich's book 'Theoria Philosophiae Naturalis' for one of his inventions in New York

Electrical engineer Nikola Tesla sits with Roger Boskovich's book 'Theoria Philosophiae Naturalis' for one of his inventions in New York

Electrical engineer Nikola Tesla sits with Roger Boskovich’s book ‘Theoria Philosophiae Naturalis’ for one of his inventions in New York

The rebellious American actor James Dean can be seen above at the height of his fame. He died in 1955 at the age of just 26

The rebellious American actor James Dean can be seen above at the height of his fame. He died in 1955 at the age of just 26

The rebellious American actor James Dean can be seen above at the height of his fame. He died in 1955 at the age of just 26

The eminent Nazi politician Joseph Goebbels is seen in 1933, staring at photographer Albert Eisenstaedt after he discovered he was Jewish. Eisenstaedt himself is quoted as saying: “He stared at me with hatred in his eyes.”

Abraham Lincoln and Major General George Mcclellan depicted during the Civil War in 1862

Abraham Lincoln and Major General George Mcclellan depicted during the Civil War in 1862

Abraham Lincoln and Major General George Mcclellan depicted during the Civil War in 1862

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