An extraordinary oil painting depicting 103 historical figures in striking detail has become the latest internet sensation, The Daily Telegraph reports.
The 6m by 2.6m painting also includes "world landmarks" like the Great Wall of China, the Egyptian pyramids, and Stonehenge.
Part of the painting, entitled Discussing the Divine Comedy with Dante. Chairman Mao Zedong (front R) appears smoking by a round table in the center, with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai standing behind him. [CRI]
On the canvas, Josef Stalin and Leonardo da Vinci are deep in conversation. Vladimir Putin rests his legs next to a sprawled-out Mike Tyson, while Margaret Thatcher -- clutching her handbag -- looks on with disdain.
Many of the figures in the painting are Chinese. Chairman Mao Zedong appears smoking by a round table in the center, with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai standing behind him. Mongolian conqueror Genghis Khan is riding a horse opposite Napoleon. Ancient Chinese poet Li Bai is sprawled on a chair, seemingly drunk, with a delicate wine cup and a typewriter in front of him.
Other Chinese faces that are instantly recognizable are former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, the ancient philosopher Confucius, the initiator of China's democratic revolution, Dr. Sun Yat-sen, Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-shek, and the first Chinese emperor, Qin Shihuang. Modern Chinese figures include renowned writer Lu Xun, contemporary media mogul Run Run Shaw, artist Qi Baishi, Kung Fu star Bruce Lee, and hurdler Liu Xiang.
Message boards have erupted with contests to identify every person featured, according to The Daily Telegraph. An element of mystery also surrounds the origins of the painting, which appears to have been inspired by Raphael's Renaissance fresco, "The School of Athens".