Machine learning is already used in the art world
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Machine learning is already used in the art world

Published by IT-technews

Few artists enjoy as much world fame as Gustav Klimt. The “Klimt vs. Klimt” online retrospective on Google Arts & Culture highlights the artist’s work and life.

Recolored versions of lost Klimt paintings created using machine learning and a unique 3D and augmented reality application bring Klimt’s works into living rooms and help experience his artistic legacy in new ways. “Klimt vs. Klimt,” one of the most comprehensive online experiences on the artist, is made up of more than 120 stories about his art and personality, a virtual tour of his studio, and many more highlights from the collections of more than 30 cultural institutions around the world.

Klimt’s legacy raises many unanswered questions, not least due to the fact that approximately 20% of his artworks were lost throughout history. Among the most notable and painful losses are the so-called Faculty Paintings, created on behalf of the University of Vienna and rejected by the latter as a strong criticism of science. In 1945, just days before World War II ended, the paintings were lost in a fire at Immendorf Castle in Austria. The look of these important works can only be imagined from black and white photographs taken in the early 20th century, unable to convey the magic that makes Klimt’s artworks so captivating: the striking colours, the revolutionary approach of the textures, the shocking frankness of his figures. Until today.

Using the opportunities offered by machine learning, enhanced by the knowledge of internationally renowned Klimt expert Dr. Franz Smola , the Google Arts & Culture Lab team was able to reconstruct the colors and structures that Klimt might have used for the Paintings in the Faculty, thus restoring them to their colorful beauty. For the first time in 70 years, people can experience his works of art as he might have created them.

The paintings are the true centerpiece of “Klimt vs. Klimt”. The retrospective brings together 124 of the artist’s most famous masterpieces, as well as lesser-known works, and forms a careful selection displayed through immersive augmented reality and a 3D pocket gallery. This was made possible through collaboration between Google Arts & Culture and more than 30 partners and institutions, including Belvedere, Albertina, Klimt Foundation , Neue Galerie New York, and the Metropolitan Museum of Arts. More than 60 Klimt masterpieces have also been captured in ultra-high resolution with Google’s Art Camera.

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