A reverse image search is probably not something many people will have a need for, but if you do, TinEye.com is an incredibly useful tool. Point TinEye at a picture (either a URL or upload one), and it returns a list of all the places on the web that use a similar image.
This recently proved invaluable for me, as I’m in the process of overhauling my wife’s travel website. I discovered that I had (again, damnit!) misplaced the artwork files I used to create several graphics on her site. And, specifically, I couldn’t for the life of me find the images we had used to create the stamps in her company’s logo, pictured here.
Normally, figuring out what paintings these two stamp images came from would be a daunting task, essentially requiring a degree in art history (“That one on the left sorta looks like Renoir, right???”), but I’m no PhD in that regard. I briefly toyed with the idea of trying to do a Google search – “Renaissance Woman”, “Painting of Virgin Mary” (if that’s who is pictured here!), etc – but obviously these are such generic terms that it would take hours of sifting through search results to find the right one… if I was lucky.
Fortunately I’ve used the TinEye search engine in the past to crack a little puzzle game a buddy of mine likes to play. He periodically changes his Twitter picture to an obscure photo of some celebrity, and challenges his followers to guess who it is. ‘Turns out 90% of the time you can just point TinEye at the picture and it will turn up a page telling you who it is.
So that’s what I did with the stamps. I used Pixelmator to crop the image down to two files, one showing the innards of each stamp, and then simply uploaded them to TinEye. Lo and behold, in a few short minutes, I had the answers! (You can click either of the images to the right to see the results TinEye came up with for each.) It turns out the first one is Delphic Sibyl, by Michelangelo (from the Sistine Chapel, no less), and the latter is Venus and the Three Graces by Bottecelli.
Pretty cool, huh!
P.S. On a related note, I just used IdentiFont.com to identify the font in Cartolina’s logo as Garamond.