Rhythmic brushstrokes distinguish van gogh from his contemporaries: Findings via automated brushstroke extraction

Jia Li, Lei Yao, Ella Hendriks, James Z. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

81 Scopus citations

Abstract

Art historians have long observed the highly characteristic brushstroke styles of Vincent van Gogh and have relied on discerning these styles for authenticating and dating his works. In our work, we compared van Gogh with his contemporaries by statistically analyzing a massive set of automatically extracted brushstrokes. A novel extraction method is developed by exploiting an integration of edge detection and clustering-based segmentation. Evidence substantiates that van Gogh's brushstrokes are strongly rhythmic. That is, regularly shaped brushstrokes are tightly arranged, creating a repetitive and patterned impression. We also found that the traits that distinguish van Gogh's paintings in different time periods of his development are all different from those distinguishing van Gogh from his peers. This study confirms that the combined brushwork features identified as special to van Gogh are consistently held throughout his French periods of production (1886-1890).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6042878
Pages (from-to)1159-1176
Number of pages18
JournalIEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence
Volume34
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Applied Mathematics

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