By: Ishita Goel
April 14 2023
The image is, in reality, a digital rendering created by an artist of what the Statue of Liberty might look like if she were a real woman.
An AI-generated image is circulating on social media, which claims to show a photograph of Isabelle Boyer, the original model for the Statue of Liberty. The post reads "In 1878, the 36-year-old Duchess de Campo Selice attracted the attention of the sculptor who forever immortalized her features in the face of Lady Liberty."
Using a reverse image, we traced the image to the website of Bas Uterwijk a photographer from Amsterdam, Netherlands. The image can be found in the “Portraits” section, with the file name “Liberty.”
Uterwijk's Instagram account demonstrates his art produced using Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs). GANs can create images that appear like photographs of human faces, but the faces do not belong to a real person. We found the viral image posted on the account on October 6, 2020, with the caption, "This is the latest version of my Lady Liberty. I think she deserves to be up here today," while the hashtags attached pointed towards the use of digital tools, AI, neural networks, and machine learning.
Logically Facts reached out to Uterwijk and was directed to his quotes given to Reuters. He had told Reuters that the portrait of Lady Liberty is "synthetic" and was produced by “inputting several photographs of the statue into a neural network,” which uses the “portraits of both real people and painted faces.” Uterwijk also stated that the image is the product of “work with generative adversarial networks" and that he “never used any photographs of Isabella Boyer for this reconstruction” work.
Little is known about the actual model for the Statue of Liberty. Several sources suggest that sculptor Frederic August Bartholdi's mother, Augusta Charlotte, served as the model, while some believe that he was inspired by the model Isabella Boyer-Singer. Bartholdi never confirmed either of these and there is no actual evidence to support these claims. However, real photos available of Boyer-Singer do not share any similarity with the viral image.
An image generated by an artist using artificial intelligence and machine learning is being misrepresented as the real face of the model for the Statue of Liberty. It does not show Isabella Boyer-Singer, one of the rumored models for the monument. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.