Algorithm finds hidden connections between paintings at the Met

Wednesday, July 29, 2020 - 09:10 in Paleontology & Archaeology

Art is often heralded as the greatest journey into the past, solidifying a moment in time and space; the beautiful vehicle that lets us momentarily escape the present.  With the boundless treasure trove of paintings that exist, the connections between these works of art from different periods of time and space can often go overlooked. It’s impossible for even the most knowledgeable of art critics to take in millions of paintings across thousands of years and be able to find unexpected parallels in themes, motifs, and visual styles.  To streamline this process, a group of researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and Microsoft created an algorithm to discover hidden connections between paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met) and Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum.  Inspired by a special exhibit “Rembrandt and Velazquez” in the Rijksmuseum, the new “MosAIc” system finds paired or “analogous” works from different cultures, artists, and media...

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