Did Rubens Paint This? 'AI' Says No

September 27 2021

Image of Did Rubens Paint This? 'AI' Says No

Picture: The National Gallery, London

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Guardian published a rather bizarre story yesterday regarding claims made by a Swiss company called AI Recognition that AI software has decided that Rubens did not paint The National Gallery's Samson and Delilah (pictured). The claims were brought forward by the 'scientist co-founder' Dr Carina Popovici who says that their complex algorithm has decided with a 91.78% accuracy that Rubens did not paint the picture.

The article has quoted the art historian Dr Katarzyna Krzyżagórska-Pisarek who has also expressed doubts about the work: 

The significance of this new AI method of authentication is potentially groundbreaking. Devoid of human subjectivity, emotion and commercial interests, the software is coldly objective and scientifically accurate. Many questionable works were attributed to Rubens at the beginning of the 20th century… There is today a distinct need for more reliable methods of connoisseurship.

As Bendor has pointed out on Twitter, this story shows that "computers still don't understand how artists worked. And probably never will".

If readers would like to read a serious text explaining the authorship to Rubens, then here's the National Gallery's 1983 Technical Bulletin which provides all the details you'll need. 

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