An 18th painting of Catherine the Great has gone viral after a British politics student noticed it bears an uncanny similarity to David Cameron.

Sophie Gadd, in her final year at the University of York, spotted the artwork in a Berlin museum.

The image of the former Empress of Russia apparently has swept Twitter, with thousands of people agreeing with the uncanny resemblance to the Prime Minister.

Despite being a frequent user of Twitter, it is thought Mr Cameron is unaware of the image because he has been in Afghanistan visiting troops.

Miss Gadd noticed the painting at the weekend while visiting galleries in Germany.

She wrote Twitter: 'This painting of an 18th century woman totally looks like David Cameron in drag.'

It has since been re-tweeted more than 2,000 times.

Other web users identified the painting as being Catherine II the Great, Empress of Russia, with diadem and coronation robe.

The oil on canvas was completed in 1794 by Johann Baptist Lampi. It now hangs in the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin, Germany.

Catherine the Great ruled Russia for 30 years. So far David Cameron has managed three years in charge of Britain.