Reddit, the ubiquitous web content rating and discussion website (at least that’s how Wikipedia refers to it), is almost impossible to avoid. It can be problematic, sure, but its user base is so large that it’s futile to attempt to define the whole monolith with a single stroke. The subreddits, as the individual forums are called, often exist in a total bubble. Here’s one that might be the best: r/AccidentalRenaissance.
Its premise is simple: collecting modern photographs that are composed in such a way that it reminds you of classic renaissance paintings, like you might see in textbooks or art museums. Here’s the highest voted image on the entire subreddit.
OK, that’s the premise. Last week, I stumbled upon a photo that belonged in this mix. It happened innocuously — I had actually used said image in a post for our Mavericks blog, Mavs Moneyball. At the time, I thought nothing of it. But please look at this glorious photo now.
UGH, IT’S GORGEOUS. It reminds you of The Creation of Adam, and the chaos behind Nerlens Noel is just so typical of a baroque-era painting. I tweeted it, expecting it to amuse maybe 20 people enough for them to “like” it. Instead, as of post time, almost 900 people chose to click that heart.
Clearly, the internet wants more sports photos that look like renaissance paintings. I polled SB Nation’s staff, and here’s what we came up with.
SB Nation social producer Mark Hinog suggested John Daly celebrating a win while a streaker does his thing behind him.
This tweet even went viral calling it a renaissance painting!
Mark also brought this photo to my attention again.
Captain America. (Gregory Bull/AP) pic.twitter.com/5SYCUsm874— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) March 19, 2017
My editor Mike Prada suggested this iconic NBA photo.
Something about this is just magical.
SB Nation’s slang influencer Harry Lyles Jr., also a noted Hawks fan, wanted this moment from Super Bowl 51 to be remembered.
I assume this is the only moment from Super Bowl 51 that Harry would like to remember. I’ll refrain from any further jokes.
Our NFL fans were out in force — Seahawks supporter Matt Ufford wants this photo to be immortalized in renaissance history.
This was the conclusion of Marshawn Lynch’s iconic Beast Mode run. Its place in history has been carved out regardless of the time period it occurred.
SB Nation pet bird owner Seth Rosenthal said, “lol this is not helpful but this is what came to mind,” and gave me this.
Sometimes you know you're gonna enjoy looking at a photo in 50 years (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) pic.twitter.com/B955CYWbBt— Seth Rosenthal (@seth_rosenthal) March 1, 2015
I don’t know. I actually kind of see some renaissance in this photo. I think it’s the sad, forlorn faces, like fifes who faithfully served their lord and just found out he choked on a rabbit bone.
How about Vince Carter and poor, poor Frederic Weis? SB Nation internetsman Michael Katz suggested this one.
In the 2000 Olympics, Vince Carter jumps over and dunks over 7'2" Frederick Weis of France. Carter might be the greatest in game dunker ever pic.twitter.com/arcfSU4Nta— Sports Days Past (@SportsDaysPast) December 12, 2016
On Twitter, Nick Weldon tweeted this photo at me, which is also wonderful.
This reminds me of another glorious tableau: pic.twitter.com/it9bA0oB6s— Nick Weldon (@nweldon) July 20, 2017
I combed through our Getty photo archives looking for this shot to insert without a watermark, and I couldn’t find it.
However, while looking through the Getty photos, I found this still.
Do you have any sports photos that absolutely, totally could belong as a renaissance painting? Drop them into the comments or tweet them at me, @tim_cato, and I will add any that I find worthy.