AFL Rd 6 - Essendon v Melbourne

Sports Photos? Or Renaissance Paintings?

These pictures belong in a museum.

It's known as "Accidental Renaissance" — the phenomenon of modern photographs composed in such a way that they inadvertently evoke the look and feel of Renaissance masterworks. The premise is celebrated on social media and even has its own Reddit thread. Sports pictures, especially, seem made for the meme, as they often feature painterly characteristics like powerful symmetry, vivid colors, multiple subjects or personae filling the scene, intense emotion, and dramatic gestures. If attuned to Accidental Renaissance, you know it when you see it — and here are some of our favorites.

Campeones Maja Hitij/Getty Images Campeones Atletico Madrid close out a 3-0 victory over Olympique de Marseille to take home the 2018 UEFA Europa League title. King of Kings Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images King of Kings LeBron James rises above the ordinary in Game 5 of the 2015 NBA finals against the Warriors. Still Standing Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images Still Standing Canada's Brianne Theisen-Eaton edges the competition to take bronze in the women's heptathlon at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Are You Not Entertained? David Ramos/Getty Images Are You Not Entertained? Stephane Mbia scores for Sevilla in a 2014 UEFA Europa League semi-final match against Valencia. In Pursuit Ronald Martinez/Getty Images In Pursuit Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo escapes the pocket against the Eagles in 2014. Touching Greatness Anna Gowthorpe/PA Images via Getty Images Touching Greatness Fans surround Liverpool's Steven Gerrard as he exits the field after a 2010 game against Hull City. In the Grasp Joe Robbins/Getty Images In the Grasp Russell Westbrook snares a rebound over Paul George and Jeff Teague in a 2017 game between the Thunder and the Pacers. Alone in a Crowd Grant Halverson/Getty Images Alone in a Crowd Duke's Cameron Crazies taunt North Carolina State's Cody Martin in a 2016 ACC match-up at Durham's famed Cameron Indoor Stadium. Reaching Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images Reaching The Nationals' Jayson Werth saves a home run against the Cardinals in Game 1 of the 2012 NLDS. Bending the Knee Alex Livesey/Getty Images Bending the Knee Lawrence Dallaglio of England consoles Matt Giteau of Australia at the end of the quarterfinal match of the Rugby World Cup 2007 in Marseilles, France. The Rising Michael Dodge/Getty Images The Rising Taylor Garner of the Kangaroos out-jumps Saints players in a 2017 Australian Football League match at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne. Within Reach Matt King/Getty Images Within Reach Lifted by his mates, the Wallabies' Michael Hooper barely gets a hand on the ball during an International Test match against England in 2016. Pack a Punch JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images Pack a Punch Leganes' goalkeeper Pichu Cuellar (left) keeps Real Madrid from scoring during an April 2018 La Liga match. Golden Triangle Ron Hoskins/NBAE/Getty Images Golden Triangle The Pacers' Paul George soars for a rebound in Game 2 of the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals against the Heat in Indianapolis. Without a Prayer Wesley Hitt/Getty Images Without a Prayer The Seahawks fail to haul in a Hail Mary pass during a September 2017 loss to the Titans. Faces of Pain Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images Faces of Pain Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic (left) collides with Italy's Andrea Barzagli inside the box during their UEFA EURO 2016 group match.



For more FOTO stories directly in your inbox, sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Sign up for our Newsletter Privacy policy