Artist Recreates How Iconic Figures From History Would Really Look in Real Life

A Teaser …


Wait. He created a picture of Jesus Christ. What source did he use for that?

This is an interesting concept. The only fault might be that the subjects end up looking more attractive than they were in real life.

Here is Roman denarius, the basic silver coin, like the dollar, which was issued during Rome’s first two + centuries. This a youth portrait. Caracalla was the last person presented in this “real life” posting.

From my notebook:

Denarius of Caracalla: Obverse: ANTONINVS PIVS AVG (“Antoninus (name he used) dutiful and patriotic Augustus”) Reverse: INDVLGENTIA AVGG IN CARTH (“Indulgence to the emperors of Carthage.”) Dea Caelestis holding a thunderbolt and scepter, seated riding a lion leaping over water with the water rushing from a rock. Sear 6806, Ric 130a

This design shows some sort of favor from the emperors to Carthage, which was the capital of Severus’ native province. It might be related to the city’s water supply, perhaps a new aqueduct, but the details are not known. The female deity riding the lion, known to the Romans as Dea Caelesits, the “Celestial Goddess,” was the goddess of Carthage. Although her name does not appear on the coin, there is little doubt that it is her.

Probably other pictures of Jesus and even the Holy Shroud.

I wish the article would have told who these people are. I only guessed some of them.

I feared he might have started with that shroud of Turin. I’m very skeptical of its authenticity. And where did the other pictures of Jesus come from? Do any of them date back to the first century? I doubt it. Maybe he just threw that one in there for some controversy to draw attention to his work.

Hey, @Sendgop, do you own that coin? It sure does look like it’s in good condition for a two millennia old coin. Silver blew through $28 and $29 today and is headed for $30, but that coin is surely worth a lot more.

Yes, I own the coin. I have been striving to be a numismatist for over 60 years. I retired from dealing in coins about a decade ago. Currently I working on a set of coins for the Imperial Roman period from 44 BC, to, at the moment, the time of Constantine the Great, AD 337. I am also working on a set of one coin for each British King and queen from Alfred the Great (871) to Queen Elizabeth II. Prior to that I assembled a set of every U.S. coin coin design from 1792 to the mid 1980s. The mint sells so much new “stuff” these days, I can’t afford to keep up with it, even if I had the interest, which I don’t.

So far as silver goes, that Caracalla piece is about the diameter of a dime but about three times as thick. The Romans were debasing their coinage by this time, so its silver content is a subject of conjecture, at least for me. It’s worth $150 to $175.

Here are a couple more for you. Here is a denarius of the emperor Tiberius who ruled from 14 to 37 AD. This is known as “a tribute penny” because it is mentioned in the Bible, Gospel of St. Mathew 22, 17-20).

“Jesus asked to have “a penny” brought to him. After asking whose image was on the piece, Christ said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.””

Given the Biblical connection and the laws of supply and demand, this piece has value of $800 to $900.

Here is what many people consider to be the most beautiful U.S. coin, the 1907 High Relief $10 gold piece. This was a pet project of President Theodore Roosevelt. He called it “his pet baby.” It was designed by sculptor Augustus St. Gaudens. This coin contains a little under an ounce of gold. It’s worth a lot more than its melt value … let’s say the price of rather nice automobile.

I have been a student of coins, economics and history for many years.

some of them look okay and some don’t

I know there are people who doubt the authenticity of the Holy Shroud. After decades of studying this icon, I believe it is authentic. And, just for your information, I am a skeptic in many things. Some of my friends called me the “Devil’s Advocate”. Paintings of Jesus until the Shroud was found pictured Jesus with very short, blonde, curly hair. After the Holy Shroud, all of the paintings of Jesus gave him long, dark, uncurled hair.

It’s hard to believe to Jesus had blond hair, but I guess anything is possible.

Contemporary accounts claim that the emperor Nero had blond hair and blue eyes.

Nero%20O Nero%20R

You might be interested to know that I have a collection of copper Roman coins, some with the image of “Constantinus” on them. When I bought them, hidden among them was a coin (roughly one ounce) which was badly eroded, with a vague image of a Roman numeral “III” on one side that I believe to be either gold or “electrum”. I’d be interested in your opinion at least of that one.

Now that’s impressive. A coin that Jesus mentioned and may have been in circulation when the Lord walked the earth. And maybe maybe he even touched!

I appreciate the appeal of coins. Think of the number of people that have been born that knew only coins as a form of money, and whose near ancestors and near descendants knew only coins as a form of money. To them, the concept of a credit card and electronic payment would be foreign and totally untrustworthy. Coins to them would have seemed as certain and unchanging as the rising and setting of the sun.

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I really need to see photos to be able to help you. I know a lot about U.S. coins and many areas of U.S. tokens and medals. I used to deal in them. I now know a fair amount about English coinage although it’s a huge subject that covers over 1,100 years in the area I study.

I still need to learn a lot about the Romans. Reading them is skill that takes time. People who know Latin can’t read them because most of the wording is in abbreviations and the letters are run together. The wording on the Tiberius piece I post earlier is backwards! You start on the right and work you way around to the left. Most pieces read from left to right.

Isn’t that a Standing Liberty?
Also minted in silver?

I agree, one of the most beautiful designs in the world!

Don’t forget, I posted the real deal ultimate video on that:

I remember watching that on one of the history channels. It is absolutely amazing! We used to have a Shroud expert here, but I haven’t seen him for years.


The “Standing Liberty” design appeared on the quarter from 1916 to 1930. Here is the original design, which is very attractive in Mint State, but it did not stand up well in circulation.

Unfortunately the designer, Herman MacNeil decided to change his design to mark the entry of the United States into World War I. He dressed his Ms. Liberty in a jacket of armor in preparation for the battles ahead. The U.S. Mint System could never make this coin well, which resulted in a sooner than expected replacement, the Washington Quarter in 1932.

There was also the Walking Liberty Half Dollar. This coin was issued from 1916 to 1947. This is a very scarce Proof strike of the coin which issued in 1936.