103 famous faces in one painting





Josef Stalin and Leonardo da Vinci are deep in conversation, Vladimir Putin rests his legs next to a sprawled Mike Tyson, while Margaret Thatcher – clutching her handbag – looks on with disdain.

This extraordinary painting depicting 103 figures from world history in striking detail has become the latest internet hit.

Message boards have erupted with contests to identify all those featured, who range from instantly recognisable figures like Gandhi to some more obscure figures such as Liu Xiang, the Chinese hurdler who limped out of the Beijing Olympics in the summer.

An element of mystery also surrounds that origins of the picture, which appears to have drawn inspiration from Raphael's Renaissance fresco The School of Athens.

While the figures in Raphael's painting were all ancient philosophers, there appears little to connect the characters in the recent work which finds room for historical greats like Napoleon as well as Bill Gates, the bespectacled face of modern success.

But eagle-eyed observers have spotted clues to the painting's provenance in some of those depicted.



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