Mysterious Portrait Suggested by Artificial Intelligence Could Be a Raphael

At a high-tech and cutting-edge facial recognition meeting, researchers say they used artificial intelligence to determine that there is also a circular image of the Virgin Mary and child Jesus, known as Brécy Tondo or Tondo. in short, it was probably painted by the Italian master Raphael.

But many art historians insist that Tondo is the result of another painter who copied one of Raphael’s most famous works. Sistine Madonna. He painted the latter around 1513 for the church of San Sisto in Piacenza, Italy. However, from the 18th century Sistine Madonna It is hung in palaces and museums in Dresden, Germany.

The new analysis did not convince everyone. Instead, it was the final round of a 40-year debate about the origins of Tondo, which art collector George Lester Winward purchased in 1981 from an aristocratic family with ties to Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of King Charles I of England. Before his death, Winward established a foundation to preserve his art collection and make the pieces available for inspection. Prior to the new finding, examination of Tondo’s pigments with Raman spectroscopy and x-rays, as well as historical research suggested Raphael may have painted it. However, many experts objected to this characterization.

For the latest look, the researchers used an artificial intelligence system known as a deep neural network that had been trained in facial recognition for months. The program examined thousands of aspects of the hundreds in Tondo and Sistine Madonna, Including their proportions, colors, textures and shadings, “all and more,” says Hassan Ugail, a professor of visual computing at the University of Bradford in England who performed the analysis.

Sistine Madonna, Raphael, 1512–1513. This oil painting is in the Old Masters Picture Gallery of the State Art Collections in Dresden, Germany. Credit: VCG Wilson/Corbis via Getty Images

According to AI, Madonna’s faces in both paintings are 97 percent similar, while the child’s faces are 86 percent similar. Ugail says that such high similarities show that both paintings were made by the same artist. “I can’t be 100 percent sure,” he adds, “but the chances are very, very high.”

Many art historians remain unconvinced and argue that Tondo is exactly like Tondo. Sistine Madonna tells. “Interestingly, it’s not a variation,” says Cammy Brothers, who studies Italian Renaissance and Mediterranean art and architecture at Northeastern University. “This is a later copy of Raphael, rather than a painting by one of his students,” he says.

London-based art historians Nigel Ip and University of Southern California’s Lisa Pon agree. IP objects that AI only examines for surface similarities. “Artist qualifications also need to take into account social and historical factors,” such as workshop practices or anachronisms in the use of materials, and AI can’t do that, he says.

Also, Pon says, the Renaissance was “a culture of copying.” “Raphael’s works were often copied even in his lifetime.” And Tondo’s earlier spectroscopic analysis, which found traces of pigments used in the 16th century, may have actually detected a later copy that used 16.pearlHe says he has century pigments to look authentic.

Timothy Benoy, the trust’s honorary secretary, who now owns de Brécy Tondo, had heard such objections before. But he’s sure that Raphael created Tondo, maybe before it even started. Sistine Madonna. Benoy says both works were painted on canvas that Raphael was unfamiliar with at the time. Instead, the artist painted mostly on plaster of frescoes or on parchment parchment made of paper or calfskin. “Raphael would have to practice painting on canvas, and Tondo could be an opportunity,” says Benoy.

For now, de Brécy Tondo is locked. But Benoy says the next step in the effort to verify its authenticity will be to invite art experts for inspection.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *