Visitors to the highly esteemed Dulwich Picture Gallery were left dumbfounded by the sight of a Transformer in a 19th century oil painting of the Battle of Trafalgar.
The landscape oil painting, which hung in the gallery on June 9, features the giant robot humanoid bursting from the waves between two warring French and English naval ships.
A video, produced by Paramount Pictures, captures the many moments that unsuspecting guests were stopped in their tracks upon spotting the bizarre figure in the painting – a mock-up of French artist Auguste Mayer’s Scène de la bataille de Trafalgar.
The original painting was created in 1830, and which is kept in Musée National de la Marine Paris. In the video, one elderly man is heard uttering “what on earth is going on here?”
A teacher is recorded trying to reassure her pupils on a school trip that the Transformer is “part of a boat that is sinking”. “It’s so interesting that you can see that… I can see why you would think it’s a transformer,” the teacher says.
Another clip shows a perplexed guest stare into the painting and repeat “what?” to his partner five times.
A spectacle-wearing art lover is heard asking “what is this apparition? Well I never…”
The stunt was all to help promote Paramount’s newly-released Transformers movie The Last Knight, starring Mark Wahlberg.
One of the Picture Gallery’s team told the News: “Paramount approached us with the idea. It’s a completely crazy idea.
“We had signs at the entrance to tell people there was filming going on. But no one knew what was happening. “Some of the reactions are hilarious. It was just a bit of fun really, just for one day, to catch people out.”