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Proceedings Paper

Quantitative analysis of qualitative images
Author(s): David Hockney; Charles M. Falco
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Paper Abstract

We show optical evidence that demonstrates artists as early as Jan van Eyck and Robert Campin (c1425) used optical projections as aids for producing their paintings. We also have found optical evidence within works by later artists, including Bermejo (c1475), Lotto (c1525), Caravaggio (c1600), de la Tour (c1650), Chardin (c1750) and Ingres (c1825), demonstrating a continuum in the use of optical projections by artists, along with an evolution in the sophistication of that use. However, even for paintings where we have been able to extract unambiguous, quantitative evidence of the direct use of optical projections for producing certain of the features, this does not mean that paintings are effectively photographs. Because the hand and mind of the artist are intimately involved in the creation process, understanding these complex images requires more than can be obtained from only applying the equations of geometrical optics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 March 2005
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5666, Human Vision and Electronic Imaging X, (18 March 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.601937
Show Author Affiliations
David Hockney
Charles M. Falco, Optical Sciences Ctr./Univ. of Arizona (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5666:
Human Vision and Electronic Imaging X
Bernice E. Rogowitz; Thrasyvoulos N. Pappas; Scott J. Daly, Editor(s)

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