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Thursday, October 03, 2019

Researchers from TU Delft discover real Van Gogh using artificial intelligence | Delft University of Technology - Newswise

What did Vincent van Gogh actually paint and draw? by Delft University of Technology.

Researchers from TU Delft discover real Van Gogh using artificial intelligence
Paintings and drawings fade, so researchers from TU Delft are using deep learning to digitally reconstruct works of art and discover what they really looked like. ‘What we see today is not the painting or drawing as it originally was,’ says researcher Jan van der Lubbe.

Snow-Covered Field with a Harrow
One of the paintings the TU Delft researcher Jan van der Lubbe regularly refers to when this subject is discussed, is Snow-Covered Field with a Harrow (after Millet) which can be seen in the Van Gogh Museum. ‘That work’s colours have faded. The edges of the painting, which were protected by the frame, show that the dominant green was originally more purple,’ explains Van der Lubbe. ‘In collaboration with various partners, the museum is trying to digitally reconstruct changes like these. This applies to drawings too. And we're helping them.’...

Voyage of Discovery
The research focuses, amongst other things, on the reconstruction of a Van Gogh drawing. Van der Lubbe explains: ‘You could start off with an explicit model, but this would be like working with a mathematical formula: you feed it something, and it spits out something. Neural networks, however, are implicit. You make observations and then allow a learning method to work out the relationships between various parameters. All this data allows a method like CNN to predict what an old drawing would have looked like years ago. It's a way of going back from the present to the original year of manufacture of the drawing, using knowledge from the past. What we do is actually a voyage of discovery. We want to understand to what extent a reconstruction like this can be arrived at using a learning method.’

Additional resources 
Zeng, Y., van der Lubbe, J.C.A. & Loog, M. Machine Vision and Applications (2019) 30: 1229. 

Source: Newswise