Thursday, January 8, 2015

What the ML Algorithm Saw in Fine Paintings

In many cases, their algorithm clearly identifies influences that art experts have already found. For example, the graphs show that the Austrian painter Klimt is close to Picasso and Braque and indeed experts are well acquainted with the idea that Klimt was influenced by both these artists. The algorithm also identifies the influence of the French romantic Delacroix on the French impressionist Bazille, the Norwegian painter Munch’s influence on the German painter Beckmann and Degas’ influence on Caillebotte.

The algorithm is also able to identify individual paintings that have influenced others. It picked out Georges Braque’s Man with a Violin and Pablo Picasso’s Spanish Still Life: Sun and Shadow, both painted in 1912 with a well-known connection as pictures that helped found the Cubist movement.

It also linked Vincent van Gogh’s Old Vineyard with Peasant Woman (1890) and Joan Miro’s The Farm (1922), which contain similar objects and scenery but have very different moods and style.

Most impressive of all is the link the algorithm makes between (below) Frederic Bazille’s Studio 9 Rue de la Condamine (1870) and Norman Rockwell’s Shuffleton’s Barber Shop (1950). “After browsing through many publications and websites, we concluded, to the best of our knowledge, that this comparison has not been made by an art historian before,” say Saleh and co.

And yet a visual inspection shows a clear link. The yellow circles in the images below show similar objects, the red lines show composition and the blue square shows a similar structural element, say Saleh and co.

- More Here

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