Much to the Beyhive’s delight, there appeared to be an irresistible number of potential hidden messages when Beyoncé released her pregnancy announcement photos this week, shot by the artist Awol Erizku. But beyond the potential connections—everything from the African goddess Oshun to the Illuminati—there were also plenty of plain old art historical references: an assertive Madonna and Child vibe, flora and fauna with centuries-long associations to fertility, and the red and blue accoutrements of the Virgin Mary.
The roll-out of photos, including a portrait in which Beyoncé’s nude stance and flowing locks obviously recalled Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, was more fodder for the Beyhive, who eagerly got to work translating the pictures into works of art in their own right, borrowing from Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes and more. Just like all the memes and exposed bellies, they’ve been drawing a divine amount of likes on Instagram.
Watch behind-the-scenes footage from a Beyoncé photoshoot: