Everyone has a doppelgänger — and if you have't found yours yet it might be because you're looking in the wrong place. Maybe your lookalike isn't a celebrity, but rather a portrait of someone hanging in a museum. Luckily, there's now an app for that — and it'll tell you if an old painting from the 1700s contains your long lost art twin. If you're wondering how to use the Google Arts & Culture app to find your museum painting lookalike, it's super easy. While I'm sure you won't find your identical twin by any means, it will definitely take you down a doppelgänger rabbit hole from which you may never return. I tried the app to see if I resemble a historical muse, and I did it just for you because I find taking selfies kind of traumatic. But hey, sometimes we all have to take one for the team.
Once you download the Google Arts & Culture App, you're pretty much on your way to finding your lookalike: Just open the app, and scroll down until you see the section that asks, "Is your portrait in a museum?" Just tap the "get started" button to find out. Unfortunately, you have to take a real-time selfie instead of selecting one from your camera roll, but if you can get over that, then the results are pretty interesting. I did it a half-dozen times, and I got a different result for each snap. Apparently I look like a portrait of Johan Willem Friso, which dates back to 1710 and hangs in a museum in the Netherlands.
My other museum-portrait doppelgängers include Martha D. Holland from Colonial Williamsburg, painter Georgette Chen, and a bunch of other people I have never heard of, which means I need to explore the other features of the app to raise my artistic IQ. Aside from finding your doppelgänger, you might not know how to use other features on the Google Arts & Culture app. And, if you're into art history, this app is basically a dream come true.
According to the iTunes preview of how to use the Google Arts & Culture app, you can: "Meet the people, visit the places and learn about the events that shaped our world. Discover collections curated by experts from the most famous museums. Be moved by stories depicted in thousands of photos, videos, manuscripts and artworks on every type of screen and in virtual reality. Find your favorite artworks, create your own collections and share them with friends." However, people seem to be most enthralled with the doppelgänger feature, and they're sharing their results on Twitter.
And, it's not just historical portraits that people are being matched with. Your doppelgänger might be a modern pop-art portrait of Different Strokes star Gary Coleman.
I guess it really depends on what kind of face you make in your selfie. If you look like you have to use the bathroom ASAP, you might end up matching with a portrait called "Girl at her toilet."
Seriously, by trying a bunch of different poses and angles, you can return some pretty interesting results. To be honest, I'm kind of bummed I didn't match with the "Study for Death ..."
Or something by Andy Warhol or Shepherd Fairey, the creator of the famous Obama "Hope" poster.
Once you get bored exploring your eleventy million museum portrait doppelgängers, there are tons of other ways to use the Google Arts & Culture app. You can zoom in on famous works of art from all over the world, experience exhibits via virtual reality by using the Google Cardboard viewer, filter artwork by color and time period, stay up to date about museum events near you, and more.
With works of art from more than 1,200 international museums, galleries, and institutions from 70 countries, this is a fun and interactive way to educate yourself about art history. Unfortunately, the Google Arts & Culture museum portrait feature is only available in select areas, but don't let FOMO get the best of you. Rise above the hype and take a virtual tour of a world-famous museum instead to search for "Girl at her toilet," and other famous portraits with names like “Head of a skeleton with a burning cigarette" by Vincent van Gogh and “Saturn Devouring His Son" by Francisco Goya.