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What Superheroes (and Supervillains) Would Look Like as Flemish Paintings

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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]

Know of something you think we should cover? Email us at tips@mentalfloss.com.

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Art
Art Lovers in England, Rejoice: France's Famous Bayeux Tapestry is Coming to the UK
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

One of France’s most prized national treasures, the Bayeux Tapestry, is officially heading to England for exhibition. The loan will mark the first time the fragile 11th century work has left France in nearly 1000 years, according to The Washington Post.

French president Emmanuel Macron announced news of the loan in mid-January, viewed by some as a gesture to smooth post-Brexit relations with Britain, ABC reports. The tapestry depicts the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, a historically important event replete with guts and glory.

Stretching for 210 feet, the Bayeux Tapestry’s nine embroidered panels tell the tale of Harold, Earl of Wessex, who swore an oath to support the right of William, Duke of Normandy, to the English throne once King Edward (a.k.a. Edward the Confessor) died without an heir. But after Edward's funeral at Westminster Abbey, Harold breaks his oath to William so he could be crowned king instead. Believing he was the rightful ruler, William—today remembered as William the Conqueror—decides to wage war and ultimately defeats Harold at the Battle of Hastings.

The historical narrative has endured for centuries, but the tapestry's provenance has been lost to time. Experts think that the artwork may have been created in England, shortly after the Battle of Hastings, although it’s unclear who designed and embroidered the scenes. Its original owner, Bishop Odo of Bayeux, the half-brother of William the Conqueror, may have commissioned the Bayeux Tapestry. He became Earl of Kent after the Battle of Hastings, and this new title would have afforded him access to skilled artisans, The Guardian explains.

The Bayeux Tapestry is currently on display in the town of Bayeux in Normandy. It likely won’t leave France until 2020, after conservators ensure that it’s safe to move the artwork. According to The Telegraph, the tapestry might be be displayed at the British Museum in 2022.

[h/t The Washington Post]

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Photo composite, Mental Floss. Car, ticket, Simon Laprise. Background, iStock.
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Design
This Snow Sculpture of a Car Was So Convincing Cops Tried to Write It a Ticket
Photo composite, Mental Floss. Car, ticket, Simon Laprise. Background, iStock.
Photo composite, Mental Floss. Car, ticket, Simon Laprise. Background, iStock.

Winter is a frustrating time to be on the road, but one artist in Montreal has found a way to make the best of it. As CBS affiliate WGCL-TV reports, his snow sculpture of a DeLorean DMC-12 was so convincing that even the police were fooled.

Simon Laprise of L.S.D Laprise Simon Designs assembled the prank car using snow outside his home in Montreal. He positioned it so it appeared to be parked along the side of the road, and with the weather Montreal has been having lately, a car buried under snow wasn’t an unusual sight.

A police officer spotted the car and was prepared to write it a ticket before noticing it wasn’t what it seemed. He called in backup to confirm that the car wasn’t a car at all.

Instead of getting mad, the officers shared a good laugh over it. “You made our night hahahahaha :)" they wrote on a fake ticket left on the snow sculpture.

The masterpiece was plowed over the next morning, but you can appreciate Laprise’s handiwork in the photos below.

Snow sculpture.

Snow sculpture of car.

Snow sculpture of car.

Note written in French.

[h/t WGCL-TV]

All images courtesy of Simon Laprise.

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