What would Batman look like if you swapped his high-tech utility belt with a 16th-century neck ruff? And how would Catwoman dress if she lived 500 years ago and couldn’t don a latex body suit? These are the types of questions photographer Sacha Goldberger asked himself while shooting Super Flemish, a series that depicts classic American superheroes as Flemish paintings. 

Super Flemish premiered at the Grand Palais in Paris in late 2014. According to My Modern Met, the entire project took around two years to create. Designers sewed custom outfits for the models, a team of 12 created their elaborate hair and makeup, and Goldberger and his crew of digital retouchers spent months editing the prints to make them look as perfect and precise as 16th-century oil paintings. 

Goldberger explained his inspiration for Super Flemish in an artist’s statement, quoted by PetaPixel: "The collection demonstrates the use of 17 century techniques counterpointing light and shadow to illustrate nobility and fragility of the super powerful of all times,” Goldberger wrote. “It also invites you to celebrate the heroes of your childhood. These characters have become icons to reveal their humanity: tired of having to save the world without respite, promised to a destiny of endless immortality, forever trapped in their character ... these images allow us to discover, under the patina of time, an unexpected melancholy of those who are to be invincible."

You can check out some of Goldberger’s superhero portraits below, or visit his website or Facebook page for more information. And if you want to see a sampling of the photographer’s works in person—including pictures from Super Flemisha retrospective devoted to Goldberger’s career will be on display at the Paris Austerlitz railway station until September 30, 2016.

[h/t My Modern Met]

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