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Machine Learning based Painting Authentication

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, May 26, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Art historians employ a wide range of methods for authenticating and dating works by artistic masters, for example, microchemical analysis of paint samples, canvas thread counting, documentary research, and categorizing painting styles and techniques. For the last of these approaches, most of them have become increasingly interested in computer-based analysis schemes since driven by rapid advancements in digitization, computers can extract certain patterns from scans more thoroughly than is possible through manual attempts, can process a much larger number of paintings, and are less subjective.

Two challenges are designed by art historians in order to explore the application of computational means to validate paintings. (This proposal targets van Gogh’s paintings.):

The first challenge of separating van Gogh from his contemporaries is primarily aimed at coming to a more precise definition and measurement of the specific characteristics of van Gogh’s style, as distinct from other artists of his day.
The second art challenge is to divide van Gogh’s paintings by dating into two periods: Paris Period vs. Arles and Saint-R´emy Period. This challenge addresses some real dating questions on van Gogh paintings, with examples of works that seem to share characteristics from different periods of his production and have hence been variously dated in the art historical literature.

Entry requirements:

The PhD Studentships are open to UK, EU and International students. Candidates for a PhD Studentship should demonstrate outstanding qualities and be motivated to complete a PhD in 4 years and must demonstrate:

Outstanding academic potential as measured by either a 1st class honours degree or a Master’s degree with distinction or equivalent Grade Point Average (GPA)
An IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 minimum (with a minimum 6.0 in each component) for candidates for whom English is not their first language
In addition to satisfying minimum entry criteria, BU will look closely at the qualities, skills and background of each candidate and what they can bring to their chosen research project in order to ensure successful completion.

Applicants will be asked to submit an online application form and a proposal (c. 1500 words) outlining their understanding of the project for which they are applying, the approach they would envisage taking and what qualities they will bring to the research community.

Please note:

Current BU Doctoral students are not eligible to apply for a Studentship
Current MRes/MPhil students can apply, subject to satisfactory completion of their Research Degree prior to being able to take up the award
PhD Studentships cannot be used to support BU staff to complete doctoral programmes

A good programming experience or mathematics is desired.

Funding Notes

A fully-funded Studentship includes a maintenance grant of £15,000 per year to contribute towards living expenses during the course of your research, as well as a fee waiver for 36 months.

Associated costs, such as for fieldwork and conference attendance, will also be met under the Studentship.

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