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Pixels & Paintings: Foundations of Computer-Assisted Connoisseurship

Stork has produced a beautiful, exciting, clear, comprehensive, interdisciplinary, scholarly masterpiece; a classic in full color that bridges the worlds of art and computer-based image analysis. My perusal of this large-format book is the basis of my recommending it to those in the communities of vision science, computer vision and digital image processing, as well as to the producers and connoisseurs of art.

This self-contained book presents the theory behind each of the algorithms and their application to a variety of art masterpieces that spans all genres of historical and contemporary art. The power of these techniques in the hands of artists, scholars, historians and conservators supersedes what can be learned through visual observation. The appendices are tutorials that contain the prerequisite materials in mathematics, statistics and probability, and ray tracing for mirrors and lenses.

Stork addresses controversies regarding the use of optical devices, such as the camera lucida and the camera obscura, in the production of historical works of art. He uses the techniques described in his book to reach his conclusions.

Review by Barry R. Masters, Fellow of AAAS, Optica, and SPIE.

The opinions expressed in the book review section are those of the reviewer and do not necessarily reflect those of OPN or its publisher, Optica (formerly OSA).

Publish Date: 04 January 2024

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