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Sci Rep. 2014 Dec 11;4:7370. doi: 10.1038/srep07370.

Large-scale quantitative analysis of painting arts.

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Department of Physics, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon 305-701, Korea.
Department of Applied Physics, Hanyang University, Ansan 426-791, Korea.
1] Department of Physics and Institute for the BioCentury, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon 305-701, Korea [2] Asia Pacific Center for Theoretical Physics, Pohang 790-784, Korea.


Scientists have made efforts to understand the beauty of painting art in their own languages. As digital image acquisition of painting arts has made rapid progress, researchers have come to a point where it is possible to perform statistical analysis of a large-scale database of artistic paints to make a bridge between art and science. Using digital image processing techniques, we investigate three quantitative measures of images - the usage of individual colors, the variety of colors, and the roughness of the brightness. We found a difference in color usage between classical paintings and photographs, and a significantly low color variety of the medieval period. Interestingly, moreover, the increment of roughness exponent as painting techniques such as chiaroscuro and sfumato have advanced is consistent with historical circumstances.

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