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Paws meet machine learning with Pet Portraits

Five smartphones next to one another, with the center showing an animation of the Pet Portraits feature

According to John Steinbeck, “I’ve seen a look in dogs’ eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts.”

Perhaps Steinbeck’s dogs would have really thought we were nuts back in 2018 when people around the world used Art Selfie to search for their doppelgängers from across art history — with over 120 million selfies taken so far.

But now, pets can get in on the fun too! Today we are introducing Pet Portraits, a way for your dog, cat, fish, bird, reptile, horse, or rabbit to discover their very own art doubles among tens of thousands of works from partner institutions around the world. Your animal companion could be matched with ancient Egyptian figurines, vibrant Mexican street art, serene Chinese watercolors, and more. Just open the rainbow camera tab in the free Google Arts & Culture app for Android and iOS to get started and find out if your pet’s look-alikes are as fun as some of our favorite animal companions and their matches:

  • Photo of a gray striped cat matched with a similar gray striped cat from The Met Museum.

    Nala Cat goes by many names: Guinness World Record holder, cat food entrepreneur and published author. Probably “The Favorite Cat” also, as this match will tell you.

  • Photo of an elegant horse in a stable matched with a painting of a horse led by a rider.

    CeCe is quite the jet setter as she has lived in three countries and competed in Show Jumping throughout Europe. You could easily believe that she was actually the inspiration for this Italian painter working in Britain and now on display at Yale.

  • Photo of a yellow and gray cockatiel bird matched with an artwork called “The Menagerie.”

    Richard “Richie” Feynbird is in a league of his own. When he’s not dunking hoops or bowling strikes, he enjoys quality time with his human flock (with plenty of head scratches). No wonder the Rijksmuseum has his lookalike on display.

  • Photo of a white mini-poodle matched with a painting of a fluffy white dog in a street.

    From helping to feed dogs in need to finding new homes for rescue dogs, Holly and her human are always up for a good cause. If they could travel back to Milan in the 1880s, we’re sure they’d help this friend find a home too.

  • Photo of a gray bunny sitting on a carpet matched with an artwork from the Rijksmuseum.

    Although just a bunny, Grey is already following her passions. She almost never responds to “Grey'' and is considering an official name change to “Come eat.” Perhaps that’s why she's been matched with these rabbits getting ready to welcome the autumn harvest.

  • Photo of a turtle on a grassy field matched with a detailed drawing of a tortoise.

    At 34 years old, Agathe is in her prime - members of her species are expected to live to 75. After embracing her wild side by escaping to the French countryside a few years ago, she’s now safely settled back home. Perhaps she was hoping to visit her art match in Brazil.

  • Photo of a blue tang fish matched with an artwork titled “Fighting Fish.”

    Yves was named for the artist who created his own hue of the color blue, a notoriously calming color. Based on Yves’s artwork alter ego though, it seems he has more of a fighting spirit at heart.

  • Photo of a standing white dog with a black patch on the face matched with a painting of a dog with similar colors in a similar stance.

    Everyone loves a good dog, especially a trusty lookout companion like Patch or his doppelgänger in Bogotà. But don’t be deceived by his innocent good looks; he’ll definitely eat your homework if he gets the chance.

  • Photo of a cat on his back matched with an artwork from the National Museum of Korea.

    Ever wonder what your cat is daydreaming about? We’re certainly curious about what Buster Kitten is imagining here. Based on his artwork counterpart chasing sparrows up a tree, he must be dreaming up something quite adventurous today.

When you take a photo in Pet Portraits, our trained computer vision algorithm recognizes where your pet is, crops the image and puts them where they belong: front and center. Once that is done, a machine learning algorithm matches your pet’s photo with over tens of thousands of artworks from our partners’ outstanding collections to find the ones that look most similar. Now it’s time for them to enter the spotlight: Share your pet’s #PetPortraits as a single still image or select multiple images to animate together as a GIF slideshow.

Additionally, Pet Portraits invites you to tap on your result to learn about the stories and artists behind each artwork. Keep on exploring Google Arts & Culture and discover more about our pawed, winged, and hooved friends throughout history. Get to know the 10 coolest cats or dogs of art history, dive into wonders of the natural world, or find out more about fantastic beasts in fiction and nature.

Ready to find your pet in art? Open up the free Google Arts & Culture app for Android or iOS and tap the rainbow camera button at the bottom of the page. Discover and share your most paw-fect #PetPortraits and don’t forget to tag us @googleartsculture on Instagram or @googlearts on Twitter! 🐾

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