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Researchers train AI to attribute paintings based on detailed brushstroke analysis – Art Newspaper

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A figure from the research paper "Discerning the painter’s hand: machine
learning on surface topography" showing four paintings analysed in row A, topographic data in row B and machine learning attributions of different areas of each canvas in row C Courtesy Case Western Reserve University
Art historians may have a new tool for settling the attribution of disputed paintings using artificial intelligence (AI) thanks to research by a cross-disciplinary team led by physicists at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. The research, published in November in the journal Heritage Science, shows how machine learning analysis of small sections of topographical scans of paintings—some as tiny as half a millimeter—was able to attribute the works to the correct artist with up to 96% accuracy. The technology could eventually also help identify which artists were responsible for different areas of a painting made by multiple artists or produced by an artist’s workshop, and help tell authentic works from forgeries.
The project differs from others that have sought to harness AI to settle questions of attribution and authenticity in that most previous research in this area has been based on machine analysis of high-resolution images of paintings, not the painted surfaces of the canvases themselves.
“The idea was that analysing the brushstroke was going to create a fingerprint,” says Kenneth Singer, a physics professor at Case Western Reserve who led the research. “We found that even at the brush bristle level, there was a fair level of success in sorting the attribution. Frankly we don’t really understand that, it’s kind of mind boggling actually when you think about it, how the paint coming off a single bristle is indicative of what we’re calling the artist’s unintentional style.”
The project focused on analysis of sets of paintings made specially by students at the Cleveland Institute of Arts, who were tasked with painting copies of a photograph of a water lily. The research involved training convolutional neural networks (CNNs) with three-dimensional scans of the paintings’ surfaces made with a profilometer. By dividing the canvases into tiny square patches for analysis, the CNNs identified each artist’s “unintentional style” or “fingerprint”. The AI was then able to correctly attribute other paintings by matching the artists’ unintentional styles in the textures of brushstrokes.
The team behind the research is now looking for additional tests of its AI’s capabilities. It collaborated with conservation firm Factum Arte to analyze a topographic scan of El Greco’s Portrait of Juan Pardo de Tavera (1609), which was severely damaged during the Spanish Civil War and extensively restored.
“This is a painting we have an answer key to, because we have photos of the destroyed painting and the current painting, so we’re able to make a map of the areas that were conserved, and [the AI] was able to identify those areas,” Singers says. “But there was another section of the painting that it identified as conserved that wasn’t obvious, so we’re going to have a painting conservator in Spain look at the painting to see what’s going on.”
Now the research team is turning its attention to paintings produced by multiple artists trying to replicate the style of one painter in their studio or workshop. Discerning between the hand of a Renaissance master, that of his star pupil and those of his lesser-known assistants has long been a topic of heated debate among art historians and Old Masters specialists, often with large sums of money hanging in the balance when works go to auction. The researchers hope to develop “unbiased and quantitative methods to lend insight into disputed attributions of workshop paintings”, they write. To that end, they are working with artists from the Cleveland Institute of Art again to create brand new paintings in a workshop process, with multiple artists working on each canvas in a unified style.
In addition to the student painters and other members of Case Western Reserve’s physics department such as Michael Hinczewski, key collaborators on the research included the university’s chair of art history Elizabeth Bolman and Dean Yoder, the conservator of paintings at the Cleveland Museum of Art. The endeavour was a true marriage of art and science.
“The project came about from an idea of a student of mine, who at the time had just started dating an art history student,” Singer says. “They went to a conference on art and science and had the idea of using this profilometer we have in one of our labs for doing surface topography. I agreed to do it and then, after a while, all my students got involved and the collaboration grew. Those two students are married now, by the way.”
The next application for the AI could be to test it on media that have less surface texture than paintings, Singer says, like watercolours or drawings. “Those would seem to be more challenging,” he says, “but what I’ve learned in this project is that I shouldn’t be as skeptical as I usually am, because this artificial intelligence is surprisingly good.”

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GROMMET, ROD POCKET, OR BACK TAB CURTAINS? WHAT SHOULD I USE

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There are many curtain styles to choose from that can affect the decor and feel of a space, including classic, modern, casual, or traditional. A curtain’s class, when combined with its color, pattern, and texture, creates a mood that reflects your decorative style.

Three simple options for hanging curtains include a grommet, rod pocket, and back tab. Each style can be customized to create a unique look. These are the three most popular types of curtain headers.

Rod Pocket Curtains

Rod pocket curtains are also known as pole top or casement drapery. The rod can slip through the casing by being sewn to the back of the curtain panel. Panes can be gathered around the rod for a soft, clean look with straight lines. The curtain can be attached to the rod without any hardware. When the curtain is closed, a small amount of the rod will be visible at each end.

With layered window covers, rod pocket curtains are a great choice. When the curtain is opened, valences can be hung above it to hide the rod. You can mount sheers under the main panels. French doors and sidelights are common places for casement curtains. Rods slide through the casements at the top or bottom of the boards, so the curtains can be attached to the window’s top or bottom. This window treatment is often made with sheers. It provides privacy and allows light through.

Finials are the ends of curtain rods that match the curtain’s color, style, or pattern. You can reduce the appearance of hardware by using glass, crystal, or acrylic finials. These materials reflect light rather than drawing the eye to the end caps.

Attach curtain rings or pin-hooks to the back panel of rod pocket curtains to make them more custom. The calls are placed evenly, so the draperies don’t affect the material’s fall and gather. Because the material cannot slide along the rod, rod pocket curtains can be more difficult to open and close. Adjusting curtains is easier with pin hooks or rings. Use pins or rings to change curtains.

Back Tab Curtains

Back tab curtains are a great option for a more tailored look that doesn’t require pins or clips. Hidden tab curtains are also known as back tab curtains. They have loops or tabs sewn to the back of the curtain header. The check is hidden behind the rod so the rod can slip through it. This creates the illusion that the curtain is floating in space, giving it a clean, elegant look. Without any hardware, the curtains form pleats above each rod tab. The curtain’s top rises above the rod, giving it a clean edge.

Back tab curtains can be used if you don’t need to open or close the drapes often. Tabs may be difficult to slip over the pole because the fabric rests directly upon the rod. Flat rods are better than round ones for keeping the wrinkles and tabs straight. Flat rods allow for a smoother fall and crisper pleats because the charges are flush against the flat rod.

If you wish to make the curtains more appealing, you can attach clips or rings to the tabs. Calls can also increase in length. To add a few inches to your curtain, attach rings to its top to reduce it to the desired size. This allows you to use standard curtains without alteration. This technique also improves the appearance of puddling (or the pooling or fabric on the floor).

Hidden tab curtains distribute weight without sagging and support heavier fabrics. You can also use back tab headers with lighter materials. The rod can show through sheer fabrics, which may affect the illusion of the curtain suspended in the air. Because the title is visible, back tabs are great for curtains with lace and other decorative trim. Rings and clips may hide or pinch a portion of the edge.

Grommet Top Curtains

Grommet top curtains are a great choice for modern and trendy decor. Grommet curtains are also known as eyelet curtains. They use rings embedded in their headers to guide the curtain pole. Because of their rigidity, grommets can form well-defined and even wrinkles. Grommet top curtains are better for stiff materials. They give the fabric a crisp look and allow it to fall. Grommet rings enable panels to slide over the rod easily because of their smooth finish. As you use the curtain over time, grommets add strength.

Grommets can be made from many materials, adding to the curtain’s beauty. Popular metallic finishes include silver, brass, nickel, and bronze. There are many options for plastic grommets. You can match grommet colors with curtain fabric or create multicolored and patterned grommets for a unique design. Grommet openings can be as small as 3/8 inches up to 1-9/16 inches. This allows you to play with size and color to create a unique look.

Grommet drapery headers show the rod in contrast to casement or back tab curtains, which don’t display it. When choosing curtains, pair them with rods that complement the overall design of your window treatment. Grommet top curtains can be paired with wood, brass, and acrylic rods. The variations in shape can be influenced by varying the rod width and the grommet openings.

Consider how curtains will improve the space when you are shopping for curtains. You can combine curtain panels’ heaviness, color, pattern, and fullness. Remember how header styles affect mood and atmosphere. Combine your panels with finials, rods, and other curtain hardware to create an individual look.

There are many curtain styles to choose from that can affect the decor and feel of a space, including classic, modern, casual, or traditional. A curtain’s class, when combined with its color, pattern, and texture, creates a mood that reflects your decorative style.

Three simple options for hanging curtains include a grommet, rod pocket, and back tab. Each style can be customized to create a unique look. These are the three most popular types of curtain headers.

Rod Pocket Curtains

Rod pocket curtains are also known as pole tops or casement drapes. They are a classic and elegant way to hang drapery. The rod can slip through the casing by being sewn to the back of the curtain panel. For a soft, clean look, panels are gathered on the rod with gathers. The curtain can be attached to the rod without any hardware. When the curtain is closed, a small amount of the rod will be visible at each end.

With layered window covers, rod pocket curtains are a great choice. When the curtain is opened, valences can be hung above it to hide the rod. You can mount sheers under the main panels. French doors and sidelights are common places for casement curtains. Rods slide through the casements at the top or bottom of the boards, so the curtains can be attached to the window’s top or bottom. This window treatment is often made with sheers. It provides privacy and allows light through.

Finials are the ends of curtain rods that match the curtain’s color, style, or pattern. You can reduce the appearance of hardware by using glass, crystal, or acrylic finials. These materials reflect light rather than drawing the eye to the end caps.

Attach curtain rings or pin-hooks to the panel at the pocket’s back to create rod pocket curtains. The calls are placed evenly, so the draperies don’t affect the material’s fall and gather. Because the material cannot slide along the rod, rod pocket curtains can be more difficult to open and close. Adjusting curtains is easier with pin hooks or rings. Use pins or rings to change curtains.

Back Tab Curtains

Back tab curtains are a great option for a more tailored look that doesn’t require pins or clips. Hidden tab curtains are also known as back tab curtains. They have loops or tabs that are sewn to the curtain header. The account is hidden behind the rod so the rod can slip through it. This creates the illusion that the curtain is floating in space, giving it a clean, elegant look. Without any hardware, the curtains form pleats above each rod tab. The curtain’s top rises above the rod, giving it a clean edge.

Back tab curtains can be used if you don’t need to open or close the drapes often. It may be difficult for tabs to slide over the pole because the fabric rests directly upon the rod. Flat rods are better than round ones for keeping the wrinkles and tabs straight. Flat rods allow for a smoother fall and crisper pleats because the charges are flush against the flat rod.

If you wish to make the curtains more appealing, you can attach clips or rings to the tabs. Calls can also increase in length. To add a few inches to your curtain, attach rings to its top to reduce it to the desired size. This allows you to use standard curtains without alteration. This technique also improves the appearance of puddling (or the pooling or fabric on the floor).

Hidden tab curtains distribute weight without sagging and support heavier fabrics. You can also use back tab headers with lighter materials. The rod can show through sheer fabrics, which may affect the illusion of the curtain suspended in the air. Because the entire title is visible, back tabs are great for curtains with lace and other decorative trim. Rings and clips, on the other hand, may hide or pinch a portion of the trim.

Grommet Top Curtains

Grommet top curtains are a great choice for modern and trendy decor. Grommet curtains are also known as eyelet curtains. They use rings embedded in their headers to guide the curtain pole. Because of their rigidity, grommets can form pleats that are well-defined and even. Grommet top curtains are better for stiff materials. They give the fabric a crisp look and allow it to fall. Grommet rings allow panels to slide over the rod easily because of their smooth finish. As you use the material over time, grommets add strength to your curtain.

Grommets can be made from many materials and add to the beauty of the curtain. Popular metallic finishes include silver, brass, nickel, and bronze. There are many options for plastic grommets. For a unique design, you can match grommet colors with curtain fabric or create multicolored and patterned grommets. Grommet openings can be as small as 3/8 inches up to 1-9/16 inches. This allows you to play with both size and color to create a unique look.

Grommet drapery headers show the rod in contrast to casement or back tab curtains, which don’t display it. When choosing curtains, make sure you pair them with rods that complement the overall design of your window treatment. Grommet top curtains can be paired with rods made of wood, brass, and acrylic. The variations in shape can be influenced by varying the rod width and the grommet opening size.

Consider how curtains will improve the space when you are shopping for curtains. You can combine the heaviness, color, pattern, and fullness of curtain panels. Remember how header styles affect mood and atmosphere. To create an individual look, combine your panels with finials, rods, and other curtain hardware.

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