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Photographer recreates portraits of 15 historical figures using their direct descendants

A photographer has recreated the portraits of famous historical figures using their direct descendants – and the results are strikingly similar to the originals.

British artist Drew Gardner spent years researching family members and verifying their ancestry before creating the collection – with replica images by Charles Dickens and Emmeline Pankhurst.

To complete his breathtaking portraits, Gardner tried to emulate the outfits, accessories, poses, background and even lighting used in the original portraits.

He partnered with genealogists and museums to track down the offspring – including Mona Lisa’s great-great-great-great-granddaughter 15 times, as well as the great-great-grandson of Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemings

To talk with Bored Panda, the photographer admitted that the series began 15 years ago, when his mother pointed out that he looked like his grandfather.

“It got me thinking like me [really] He looked like my grandfather and if people living today would have any resemblance to famous ancestors, “he said.

He added that he has no intention of convincing his audience of the parable of the family member and instead leaves it to his spectator to decide – explaining, ‘Sometimes I feel a look through the viewfinder, although I never sure if it’s wishful thinking or more. ‘

Here, FEMAIL reveals 13 of the original portraits of famous figures in addition to their direct descendants …

Gerald Charles Dickens photographed by Drew Gardner as his ancestor

British artist Drew Gardner spent years researching family members and verifying their origins before the collection was created. Pictured left: the famous English writer Charles Dickens, creator of Oliver Twist and Great Expectations, photographed by Herbert Watkins in the 19th century. Right: the author’s great-great-grandson, Gerald Charles Dickens, photographed by Gardner. Gerald, 56, from Oxfordshire, writes his own Dickens spin-offs and performs onstage after taking his one-man show on tour in the UK

Founder and former US President Thomas Jefferson
Shannon Lanier, Jefferson's great-grandson

Founder Thomas Jefferson in a painting by Rembrandt Peale from 1800 left and right are great-great-grandson Shannon Lanier. He was photographed by Gardner for the Smithsonian Magazine’s article, American Descendants. LaNier, a TV presenter in Houston, shared the footage of him dressed in the same clothes as Jefferson on Instagram. As 6th great-grandson of TJ & #SallyHemings, I’m just one example of how #slavery isn’t just divorced [America] but also made us more common and connected than some may think! ‘ He wrote. LaNier co-authored the book Jefferson’s Children: The Story of One American Family

Rpbeft Clive, the first British governor of the Bengal Presidency in a painting from 1773
Robert Holden, the great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson of Clive of India

Clive Of India, the first British governor of the Bengal Presidency, Robert Clive, was seen on the left in 1773 when he was painted by Nathaniel Dance. He was one of the key figures in the founding of British India. Pictured right: Robert Holden, his great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson. Robert Holden, a 51-year-old London art agent in London at the time, married to twins, said in 2008 as the living relative of Robert Clive to the Daily Mail, ‘I’ve always been proud of the connection, but I didn’t want to go want to switch. Clive of India was sick – he took opium to suppress terrible abdominal pain – and committed suicide at just 49 years of age. “I don’t have any similarities – physical or in character,” he added

French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in The Emperor Napoleon in his studies at the Tuileries by painter Jacques Louis David in 1812.
Hugo De Salis (right) Napoleon's great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson

French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in The Emperor Napoleon in his studies at the Tuileries by painter Jacques Louis David in 1812, pictured left and right, Hugo De Salis, Napoleon’s great-great-great-great-great-grandson. Managing director and co-founder of a financial PR firm in London, Hugo can trace his family line through the Emperor’s affair with Emilie Pellapra, who gave birth to a daughter, from whom he is descended

Feminist and suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst in 1906
Helen Pankhurst posing as her great-grandmother

Suffragette and feminist Emmeline Pankhurst circa 1906, left and right, Dr. Helen Pankhurst, her great-granddaughter. Born in 1964, Helen is a British scholar and activist and author of women’s rights. She is currently considered a senior advisor to CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere) International in the UK and Ethiopia. She previously said that traditional women’s roles should be valued as much as those in male-dominated sectors. The lead feminist campaigner said that society should “reassess positions traditionally shunned by feminists” and “let individuals decide what they want to be”

Oliver Cromwell around 1653 and 1654
Charles Bush, Oliver Cromwell's great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson

A portrait of Oliver Cromwell circa 1653-1654 on the left. Cromwell (1599-1658), a Member of Parliament who played a leading role in the trial and execution of Charles I, later became Lord Protector – the head of state – thanks to his success on the battlefield and his skill as a politician. On the right is his nine-times-great-great-grandson Charles Bush, who grew up on a farm in Kenya and is now considered a technical support manager working in Australia

Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellingston
Jeremy Clyde, the first Duke of Wellington's three-times-great-grandson

Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington, who served twice as Prime Minister in 19th-century Britain, captured by William Alan Menzies, left and right, Jeremy Clyde, his great-great-great-grandson. He is an English actor and musician who appeared in the crime drama Midsomer Murders. In the 1960s he was half of the folk duo Chad & Jeremy, which had little success in the UK but was much loved by the American public

Isambard Kingdom Brunel, photographed in 1857
Brunel's three-times-great-grandson Isambard Thomas
Horatio Nelson, the first Viscount Nelson, in 1800
William John Raglan Horatio Tribe, Nelson's great-great-great-grandson

Horatio Nelson, the first Viscount Nelson, painted in 1800 by Friedrich Heinrich Fuger, shown left. He was a famous British flag officer in the Royal Navy, mainly for his leadership in the Napoleonic Wars. Right: William John Raglan Horatio Tribe, Nelson’s great-great-great-great-great-grandson. It is unclear where Mr Tribe is located

French impressionist painter Berthe Morisot painted by Edouard Manet, 1872
Lucie Rouart, Morisot's great-granddaughter

French Impressionist painter Berthe Morisot captured by Edouard Manet, 1872, pictured left, while right is Lucie Rouart, her great-granddaughter. It is unclear where Lucie is located, but she often sits for reproductions of her great-grandmother’s portraits

Charles II painted by Philippe de Champaigne, c. 1653
Lord Charles Fitzroy, Charles II's eight-time great-grandson

A king in exile: Charles II painted by Philippe de Champaigne, c. 1653 on the left. He was restored to the throne in 1660 after years of exile. On the right, Lord Charles Fitzroy. Lord Charles FitzRoy is an eight-time great-grandson of Charles II and longtime mistress Barbara Villiers, and is a London-based fine art tour specialist. Charles wrote the book Return Of The King; The Restoration Of Charles II, about his famous ancestor, said in 2008, “He was an impressive man and one of the more intelligent English kings.”

American suffragette, activist and abolitionist Elizabeth Cady Stanton around the time of the Anti-Slavery Convention in London in 1840
Her third great-granddaughter Elizabeth Jenkins-Sahlin

American suffragette, activist and abolitionist Elizabeth Cady Stanton around the time of the London Anti-Slavery Convention in 1840, left and right, her third great-granddaughter Elizabeth Jenkins-Sahlin, who appears to work for NJOY, an independent American company that produces and distributes electronic cigarettes and vaping products

American social reformer, abolitionist, author, and stateman Frederick Douglass in 1863
Kenneth B. Morris, his third great-grandson

Left: American social reformer, abolitionist, author, and statesman Frederick Douglass in 1863. Right: Kenneth B. Morris, his third great-grandson. He continues his family’s legacy of anti-slavery and educational work as a co-founder and president of the Rochester, New York-based nonprofit Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives (FDFI). FDFI says it “brings history into the fight against modern slavery”