Google said I look like a man in tights

Unfortunately, quarantine doesn’t look good on everyone

Only a few days into quarantine and already bemoaning the boredom? 

It’s a perfect opportunity to clean out the roof gutters or sequinned disco outfits you never wear, but for some reason you’re “just not feeling it”? 

I have a solution. 

Mr Slager is always going on about this new fan-dangled artificial intelligence, which apparently is the new frontier in computing. However, based on my recent sojourn with the free Google Arts & Culture app, it looks like the robot apocalypse has been somewhat postponed. 

While chomping on your stately meal of panic bought borlotti beans, spam and weird green dip, keep yourself entertained for a total of 2 minutes with the free Google Arts & Culture app

After taking a selfie, the app will use robotic facial recognition to search over 1200 museums to find portraits that look just like you. 

Are you a beautiful ‘Girl with a pearl earring’, a smarmy ‘Mona Lisa’, or a frill necked Queen Elizabeth I? Maybe you’re more comparable to an androgynous shepherd boy, or a middle aged emperor hosting a triple chin? 

I trialled the app and am publicising my doppelgänger results as an example of the startling accuracy you’ll encounter.

Firstly, my selfie using the app:


From highest to lowest percentage likeness, my results are as follows.

(57%) ‘Portrait of Brechtje Overrijn van Schoterbosch’ by Cornelis van der Voort

I’d agree we’re twinning with the mole, but the algorithm has mistaken my unkempt hair for opulent fancy dress. 

Perhaps it was their awkward attempts to eat great legs of wild boar and curried peacock that caused this flamboyant neckwear to fall out of fashion. 

(53%) ‘Nora Beteta’s portrait’ by Raúl Anguiano

Honestly, I don’t see the likeness.

(50%) ‘Portrait of Charlot Pálfiová’ by Daniel Schmidely

I actually attempted my selfie several times, in a futile attempt to get some sort of “better” result. Interestingly, Ms Charlot came up every time. I have no information about her or the artist, but I can see our pasty likeness.

(49%) ‘Portrait of Cornelia, Clara and Johanna Veth’ by Jan Veth

Three sisters painted by their brother. I assume Cornelia is the haggard sister singled out for my likeness. When you see all the sisters though, you’d be safe in assuming they’re all just sick of their brother: 

“Portrait of Cornelia, Clara and Johanna Veth” by Jan Veth (source:

Apparently, their father said of the painting, “My opinion is…they are excellent likenesses, which are anything but flattering…” 


(46%) ‘John B. Bayard’ by Charles Willson Peale

A 46% likeness to a blushed up pompous man in tights. I think this is the closest one yet! Why is it ruffles on menswear never made a comeback?

Full image:

(49%) ‘Jacobus Van Rensselaer’ by John Watson

I have an uncanny resemblance to 1700s men folk wouldn’t you say. Either that, or 1700s men have an uncanny resemblance to a mid-thirties woman living in 2020. Oh la la!

Being an American lawyer and politician, it’s hard to know whether he’s sporting a wig, or if he just enjoys eating his crusts. 

(48%) ‘Portrait of Aegje Hasselaer, Wife of Henrick Hooft’ by Micahel Jansz van Mierevelt

Wow, what a mouthful of Dutch consonants. If you take a look at the whole painting, the most outstanding bit is the lavish outfit and the artist’s epic attention to detail. 

It turns out Mrs Hooft is turned towards her husband who also had his portrait painted. Mrs Hooft’s receding hair only surpassed by her husband’s Ringo Starr abundance.

The only similarity I gather is, I have the look of a resigned Dutchman’s wife. 

Full image here: and her husband here

(46%)‘Portrait of the three daughters of Julius Johann von Veith und Gossenau’ by Anton Graff

Anton would never get away with a greedily long artwork title on today’s social media. The slicked back corn cob hairdo on the other hand…

Those eyebrows express as much surprise as I do when Mr Slager replenishes my empty wine glass of his own accord.

(45%) ‘Portrait of Maria Theresa in mourning’

She might look like an over-chardonnay’d typist, but this is the royal Queen of Hungary, mother of Mary Antoinette. 

Ascending to power after her father died in an unfortunate mushroom poisoning incident, she became a hot commodity in the dating scene. You can find her on eHarmony and Silver Singles.

Here she looks to be somewhat gleefully “mourning” the loss of the man she married. 

(43%) ‘Self-portrait’ by Judith Leyster

The complete portrait shows Judith painting at her easel, wearing her best outfit. It seems highly unlikely she would actually be painting in this flouncy get-up, lest she get burnt umber or salt and vinegar chips on her collar. 

Similar to my attempts at artistic selfies, she attempted to nonchalantly look her best for her portrait, presenting an, “Oh I always look like this when I’m painting” smugness.

By the way, it seems old Judy’s 1633 masterpiece was attributed to a man until 1949. Don’t worry Judith, you wore the collar better. (P.S. men still get paid more for the same job!)

Full image here:

(42%) ‘Mary Magdalene’ by Jan van Scorel

Of course, one mustn’t forget my resemblance to the one and only Mary Magdalene….Enough said. 


Based on my analysis, I think the app successfully matched my selfie to these characteristics:

-       Pursed lips showing utter high-society contempt for all those around

-       Droopy eyelids from years of being fed up

-       Facial expressions inappropriate for the occasion (i.e. Queen of Hungary)

All in all, I think this was an extremely accurate and fulfilling exercise. 

It seems that throughout history, flaneurs and paupers alike have exuded the same dissatisfaction as I. 


Start looking for your doppelgänger on the app here: (non-affiliate link, meaning, as much as I’d like them to pay me, I get diddly-squat if you click on the link). If you’re really really bored there are plenty of virtual exhibits to peruse on the app too. 

Please, do tell me your results, I’d love to know. Especially if you’ve been found donning some unseemly gentleman’s tights!

Now back to shaving lint off my disco outfits…

x Candy

My studio assistant and I in “An Old Woman with Cat” by Max Liebermann (source:

Copyright © All rights reserved. Privacy Policy
Using Format