News JVTech For half a century, we don’t know who painted this Renaissance work. An AI finds the answer at 97%
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A painting with an unknown author, a debate in the artistic community, and the answer given decades later by an artificial intelligence. Here is the incredible story of De Brécy Tondo.
An unknown work, a convinced collector against all odds
It is a beautiful story that we are going to tell you today. She begins in 1981, when George Lester Winward, an art collector, bought a painting that caught his eye. The 94 centimeter painting depicts the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus in her arms, with the two figures staring at the viewer in a very intriguing way.
According to Winward, it isa real painting by Raphael, one of the most recognized artists of the Renaissance. He bases this assertion on a resemblance to The Sistine Madonnaa painting by Raphael dating from 1512, representing among other things the same scene: Mary holding the child Jesus, but this time surrounded by Saint Sixtus, Saint Barbara and two putti.
But in the artistic community, Winward’s opinion is far from unanimous. According to many experts, the resemblance between the two paintings is due to the fact that it is a copy of the initial painting made during the Victorian era, corresponding to the second part of the 19th century.
Winward approaching the end of his life, he decided to offer the paintings he owned to the organization he created de Brécy Trust, with the aim of continuing research into the mystery of this painting, henceforth called by Brécy Tondo. Decades later, we finally have the answer, thanks to an AI.
An AI identifies the author of the work with great precision
Winward’s painting took more than 40 years to identify. The lucky winners are researchers from the University of Nottingham and the University of Bradford in the UK. Getting rid of the usual analysis techniques, it’s with an artificial intelligence that they were able to know the original author of by Brécy Tondo.
To do this, they relied on Winward’s hypothesis, and took Raphael’s Sistine Madonna painting as a basis for making comparisons with facial recognition technology. You may use it to unlock your smartphone or your computer, but it can also be used to unlock the mysteries of history.
Going far beyond the human eye, the AI specially developed for the occasion analyzes the painting with pixel-level precision, thanks to the viewing of millions of images beforehand.
Hassan Ugailat the origin of artificial intelligence:
(This AI) takes into account physical attributes like facial shapes, colors and textures but also thousands of others that could not be visually or physically described.
The result obtained by comparing the two tables thanks to the AI is quite clear:
- Similarity between the two Maries: 97%
- Similarity between the two Jesuses: 86%
Ugail specifies thata resemblance of at least 75% between two faces can be considered identical, and therefore carried out by the same person.
We would love to give thanks to the author of this article for this incredible material
For half a century, we don’t know who painted this Renaissance work. An AI finds the answer at 97%
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