Mona Lisa's smile, the shading of Caravaggio and Vermeer's stolen glances, frozen forever, are some of the art world's greatest treasures.

Even if you've not seen the work of the Old Masters on canvas (and very few people have seen the entire lot), you'll be aware of them if only through postcards and hotel wall prints.

But maybe, after several hundred years, it's time they got re-invented.

olympia
Dutch artist Jan Banning reappropriates Manet's Olympia


As Turner prizewinner Mark Wallinger brings his latest re-invention of Titian's Diana - a show that's seen a live peep show installed at the National Gallery - we've decided to look at some other examples of when the classics have been brought up to date.

The artists in our gallery below have not just been inspired by the Masters, but used their own practice to question and reinvent them for a contemporary audience.

From assessing xenophobia in Europe, to replacing well-to-do ladies with immigrants and vulnerable women, these modern versions of well-known paintings subvert and surprise.

Has your favourite painting had a facelift? Check out our gallery below.

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  • The Death of Sardanapalus

    <em>The Death of Sardanapalus</em>, by Eugene Delacroix, 1827. IMAGE: Wikipedia

  • Death of Colotti

    Hunter's <em>Death of Colotti</em> inspired by <em>The Death of Sardanapalus</em>, by Eugene Delacroix, 1827. It's going to be shown at the National Gallery in October, as part of their upcoming exhibition, <a href="http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/seduced-by-art-photography-past-and-present" target="_hplink">Seduced by Art: Photography Past and Present</a>. IMAGE: Tom Hunter

  • <em>Olympia</em> Edouard Manet IMAGE: Wikipaintings

  • 'Danae Olympia'

    <em>Danae Olympia</em> is a reinvention of Manet's Olympia, with a Jamaican-Dutch subject. IMAGE: <a href="http://www.janbanning.com/" target="_hplink">Jan Banning</a> and Gallery Fontana Fortuna

  • <em>Jan Six</em> Rembrandt IMAGE: Wikipedia

  • 'Turkish Rembrandt'

    <em>Turkish Rembrandt</em> is a proletarian reinvention of Rembrant's portrait of Jan Six, Mayor of Amsterdam. Instead, Banning has photographed Celal Akin Coskun, a Turkish construction worker who was re-building Amsterdam's iconic Rijksmuseum. IMAGE: <a href="http://www.janbanning.com/" target="_hplink">Jan Banning</a> and Gallery Fontana Fortuna

  • <em>Ophelia</em> John Everett Millais IMAGE: Wikipaintings

  • Priscilla in Ecstasy

    Yigal Ozeri's dedication to photorealistic painting replicates the style of the old masters, but this is a clear modernisation of Sir John Everett Millais's <em>Ophelia</em>. IMAGE: Yigal Ozeri Priscilla in Ecstasy1, 2009 Oil on canvas 20 x 30.5 cm ROLLO Gallery

  • Priscilla in Ecstasy

    Yigal Ozeri's dedication to photorealistic painting replicates the style of the old masters, but this is a clear modernisation of Sir John Everett Millais's <em>Ophelia</em>. IMAGE: Yigal Ozeri Priscilla in Ecstasy1, 2009 Oil on canvas 20 x 30.5 cm ROLLO Gallery

  • 'The Way Home'

    Hunter's modern-day version of the Millais classic. IMAGE: Tom Hunter

  • <em>Vanitas - Still Life with Bouquet and Skull</em> Adriaen van Utrecht IMAGE: Wikipedia

  • Forbidden Fruit Op. 5

    Masaki Yaka is also inspired by the photo-realistic still life paintings of the 17th century Dutch masters, but in particular their fascination with Memento Mori - hence the presence of death in his work. IMAGE: Masaki Yada Forbidden Fruit Op. 5, 2009 Acrylic and oil on Board 60 x 50 cm ROLLO Gallery

  • Modern Vanitas Op.2

    Masaki Yaka is also inspired by the photo-realistic still life paintings of the 17th century Dutch masters, but in particular their fascination with Memento Mori - hence the presence of death in his work. IMAGE: Masaki Yada Forbidden Fruit Op. 2, 2009 Acrylic and oil on Board 60 x 50 cm ROLLO Gallery

  • <em>Still Life With Flowers and Fruit, 1601 </em>Caravaggio IMAGE: Wikipaintings

  • Bunny Ripple

    Rebecca Stevenson makes sculptures that are inspired by the still live pictures of the Dutch masters. They blend the saccharine representations of nature with darker realities of biology. IMAGE: Rebecca Stevenson Bunny Ripple, 2008 Polyester resin, wax 50cm x 38cm x 30 cm ROLLO Gallery

  • Beautiful One

    Rebecca Stevenson makes sculptures that are inspired by the still live pictures of the Dutch masters. They blend the saccharine representations of nature with darker realities of biology. IMAGE: Rebecca Stevenson Beautiful One, 2005 Wax, bioresin 70cm x 53cm x 45cm ROLLO Gallery

  • Still Life with Flowers 5

    The title and aesthetic of Joanna Hill's piece make it near-indistinguishable from the work of the Old Masters. Except hers takes on a form which would have been impossible to them hundreds of years ago: video. IMAGE: Still from Joanna Hill Still Life with Flowers 5, 2009 Video 2 minutes, 16:9 format, silent, High Definition ROLLO Gallery

  • <em>The Art of Painting</em> Johannes Vermeer IMAGE: Wikipaintings

  • 'The Art of Squatting'

    This photograph, by Tom Hunter, is inspired by Vermeer's <em>The Art of Painting</em>. IMAGE: Tom Hunter

  • <em>The Vale of Rest</em> John Everett Millias IMAGE: Wikipedia

  • 'The Vale of Rest'

    Hunter's <em>The Vale of Rest</em> is a modernisation of Millias' painting of the same name <em>The Vale of Rest</em>. IMAGE: Tom Hunter

  • <em>Rain, Steam and Speed - The Great Western Railway.</em> JMW Turner IMAGE: Wikipedia

  • 'The Great Western Singularity'

    Eric Schockmel, <em>The Great Western Singularity</em>, is just one of the videos commissioned as part of Intel Remasted, part of the Creators Project. Here Schockmel is reinterpreting of JMW Turner's <em>Rain, Steam and Speed - The Great Western Railway.</em> IMAGE: Intel

  • <em>Dancer With A Bouquet Of Flowers</em> Degas IMAGE: WikiPaintings

  • Abonnes

    Also part of Intel Remastered, abonne is Sara Hibbert's re-envisioning of of Degas' 'Dancer with Bouquet of Flowers' IMAGE: Intel

  • Girl Reading Letter By An Open Window, Johannes Vermeer IMAGE: Wikipedia

  • 'Woman Reading a Possession Order'

    Like Banning, Hunter was inspired by <em>Girl Reading A Letter by an Open Window</em> by Vermeer for this photo. IMAGE: Tom Hunter

  • 'Moroccan Vermeer'

    Artist Jan Banning is currently working on a project called <a href="http://www.janbanning.com/work-in-progress/national-identities/" target="_hplink">National Identities</a>, in which he is looking at the impact of Islamophobia and Xenophobia in European countries. Moroccan Vermeer is a modern rendition of Vermeer's Girl Reading A Letter by an Open Window. Banning's subject is reading an application form for a citizenship course. IMAGE: <a href="http://www.janbanning.com/" target="_hplink">Jan Banning</a> and Gallery Fontana Fortuna

  • <em>Lady Writing a Letter With her Maid</em> Vermeer Image: Wikipedia

  • Girl Writing an Affidavit

    Again, Vermeer gets the modernisation treatment. This time, it's the painting <em>Lady Writing a Letter With Her Maid</em>. IMAGE: Tom Hunter