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Facial Recognition Technology used for Historical Portraits

A blog post I found on Popsci.com states, “Facial recognition software designed for various security and law enforcement applications is being adapted by art historians at the University of California to identify unknown faces in portraits.”  Before photography, images were commonly created with paint and canvas and  many historical portraits do not contain identification of the person within a specific painting, one example shared is the Girl with a Pearl Earring created by Johannes Vermeer. Historians are attempting to identify many of these people through the use of the facial recognition technology that is commonly used by law enforcement. However, for a person to be identified they must have at least one recognizable portrait because the technology compares facial features with othwe clearly identified  people, otherwise the identity of people in historical portraits will remain unknown.

One Comment

  1. Katri Haas wrote:

    I love that you’re addressing both anthropology and art in this. The fusion of the two to identify faces is incredible. I’m glad we have the technology for this.

    Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink