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History comes to life in vivid black-and-white portraits turned to color by talented 18-year-old artist
12:30 GMT, 24 December 2012
You've seen Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin and Mark Twain – but never quite like this.
An 18-year-old artist has perfected the art of adding color to old black and white portraits – bringing history vividly to life.
Mads Madsen began his remarkable trade by restoring and colorizing the portraits of Civil War officers.
The young artist had developed a strong interest in the Civil War, he said, and adding color gave him a way to feel closer to the history.
However, he soon moved on to colorizing more recognizable historical figures.
Winston Churchill, Elizabeth Taylor, Cary Grant and Ernest Hemingway have all gotten the color treatment.
He says each portrait takes about 20 to 30 minutes to colorize, depending on the quality of the photo and the amount of landscape surrounding the subject.
He uses Photoshop to add skin tones with light-saturated colors.
He always makes sure to keep a vintage feel of the photos – never making the colors too bright.
New life: This famous portrait photo of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill takes on a whole new life with a dose of color
Famous faces: Elizabeth Taylor (left) and Cary Grant (right) are among the Hollywood stars and historical figures that Mads Madsen has colorized
Elizabeth Taylor is somehow less stunning in black and white and Cary Grant doesn't seem to sparkle the same
Outlaws: This famous photo of Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch takes on new meaning with color added to faces and clothes
Men of letters: Great American writers Ernest Hemingway (left) and John Steinbeck (right) both jump out of their portraits with the added texture of color
Hemingway seems flat in grayscale, by comparison, and Steinbeck is less alive in Sepia tones
Ingenious: Albert Einstein's thoughtful brilliance is clear to see in this updated photograph
The expressions of screen actor Charlie Chaplin and abolitionist Frederick Douglass seem to take on more depth with the added color
Dorthea Lang's poignant photo 'Migrant Mother' has been retouched in color before, but Madsen seems to have a special skill
Great men: Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln look stately in color