Informational Dialogue with Van Gogh's Paintings

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Jaume Rigau, Miquel Feixas, Mateu Sbert: Informational Dialogue with Van Gogh's Paintings. In: Douglas W. Cunningham, Victoria Interrante, Paul Brown, Jon McCormack (Eds.): Eurographics Workshop on Computational Aesthetics, 2008. 115-122



From the pioneering work by Birkhoff, several measures have been proposed to quantify the aesthetic content of art. After Bense's application of information theory to Birkhoff's ideas, the concept of informational aesthetics appears. In this paper, we analyze a selection of van Gogh's paintings using a set of informational aesthetic measures based on the entropy of the palette, the compressibility of the image, and an information channel to capture the basic structure of the painting. The values of these measures match fairly well against the different styles in van Gogh's work and allow a quantitative description of these periods. In addition, we present two new measures which quantify the information associated with both color and canvas regions and enable us to visualize the most salient colors and elements of a painting.We believe that informational aesthetic measures can contribute to discovering relevant characteristics of a painting or of a painter's style.

Extended Abstract


author = {Rigau, Jaume and Feixas, Miquel and Sbert, Mateu},
title = {Informational Dialogue with Van Gogh's Paintings},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the Fourth Eurographics Conference on Computational Aesthetics in Graphics, Visualization and Imaging},
series = {Computational Aesthetics'08},
year = {2008},
isbn = {978-3-905674-08-8},
location = {Lisbon, Portugal},
pages = {115--122},
numpages = {8},
url = {,'s_Paintings },
doi = {10.2312/COMPAESTH/COMPAESTH08/115-122},
acmid = {2381353},
publisher = {Eurographics Association},
address = {Aire-la-Ville, Switzerland, Switzerland},

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