Photoshop Artists Recreate 4 Famous Masterpieces Using Adobe Stock

Posted on 6/22/2016 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Skilled digital artists don’t need more photos. Everything needed to recreate many of the world’s most famous masterpieces already exists.

Adobe challenged four digital artists to recreate four lost, stolen or destroyed artistic masterpieces using only Adobe Stock. If you’re a photographer, and not a Photoshop expert, you need to take a few minutes to watch the four time-lapse videos that show how these digital artists worked. See Make a Masterpiece and consider whether you should spend any more time taking additional pictures.

In 1990, thieves broke into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and stole Rembrandt van Rijn’s The Storm on the Sea of Galilee. In 2016, Indian artist Ankur Patar faithfully recreated the painting using 236 stock images, without ever leaving Photoshop.

“I approached the re-creation the same way Rembrandt would have, starting with the sky and working forward from there,” said Ankur Patar, who re-created The Storm on the Sea of Galilee. “This is a dream project for me, and I hope it inspires other artists with the possibilities of Adobe Stock.”

In addition, Karla Cordova from Ecuador reconstructed Frida Kahlo’s The Wounded Table, Jean-Charles Debroize from France took on Caravaggio’s Saint Matthew and the Angel, and Mike Campau from the US crafted Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s Cathedral Towering Over a Town.

It’s impossible to assess the monetary value of these artworks, but pieces by these painters fetch between $5M-137M at auction. While we may never be able to enjoy these masterpieces, the result of Patar, Cordova, Debroize and Campau’s intricate and tedious hard work is four authentic reproductions of the paintings that could pass for the originals. Although if you look closely enough, you might notice that Patar took a few artistic licenses with his assignment.

“One of the portraits in the painting is a self-portrait of Rembrandt. I wanted to add my own self-portrait,” he confesses.

"The whole process of finding the stock images in the Creative Cloud saves a lot of time," Patar said. "With Adobe Stock, my creativity is uninterrupted and I can make a masterpiece."

Artist Reference

It occurred to me that back when I was authoring pricing guides (Negotiation Stock Photo Prices) 20 years ago I advised photographers on how to price the use of an image for “artist reference.” A few photographers used to earn quite a bit of money by licensing their work for artist reference. As best I can tell that income source has evaporated.

Ankur Patar used elements from 236 images. I suspect, though I have no confirmation, that not a single penny was paid to the original creators of those works. Using scraps or elements of one work of art has now become so easy and common that no one thinks of compensating the original creator for his or her contribution to the new work.

It is hard to say what the value of one of these 236 “scraps” should be, but without them the new work would have been impossible. Going forward, we really don’t need more images, just more skilled Photoshop artist who can use the existing resources to create anything the mind can imagine.

Young people who are training to become photographers might want to think about re-directing their life plan.

Copyright © 2016 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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