August 2016
Volume 16, Issue 12
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
The chromatic diversity of art paintings
Author Affiliations
  • Joo Linhares
    Centre of Physics, Campus de Gualtar, University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
  • Sergio Nascimento
    Centre of Physics, Campus de Gualtar, University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
  • Cristina Montagner
    Department of Conservation and Restoration, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Portugal
Journal of Vision September 2016, Vol.16, 646. doi:
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      Joo Linhares, Sergio Nascimento, Cristina Montagner; The chromatic diversity of art paintings. Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):646.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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The chromatic diversity of natural scenes has been quantified from hyperspectral imaging data. Do artistic paintings mimic the same color diversity found in natural scenes? The purpose of this work was to analyze and compare the chromatic diversity of natural scenes and art paintings. Fifty images of natural scenes and 43 images of art paintings were digitized using a hyperspectral imaging system composed by a monochromatic CCD camera and a fast tunable filter capable of a spectral resolution from 400 to 720 nm in 10 nm steps. The images contained reflectance data, estimated from a grey reference with known reflectance presented at the scene at the time of acquisition. The radiance was then estimated for each pixel of the images assuming the CIE D65 illuminant. The chromatic diversity was assumed to be the number of discernible colors (NDC) in each image. The NDC was computed by representing all the image's pixels in the CIELAB color space and by segmenting it into unitary cubes. It was assumed that all the colors that were inside the same cube could not be discernible, and by counting the number of non empty cubes the NDC was obtained. It was found that the chromatic diversity in the form of NDC of the art paintings is different from that of natural scenes. The distributions of colors indicate that paintings are richer chromatically than natural scenes. This result suggest that artists are capable to generate richer chromatic information despite the gamut limitations imposed by the pigments used. Acknowledgement: This work was supported by FEDER through the COMPETE Program and by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) in the framework of the project PTDC/MHC-PCN/4731/2012.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016


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