Geometric tight frame based stylometry for art authentication of van Gogh paintings

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

4 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)590-602
Journal / PublicationApplied and Computational Harmonic Analysis
Issue number2
Online published2 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


Title5th Tri-Annual International Conference on Computational Harmonic Analysis (ICCHA 5)
LocationVanderbilt University
PlaceUnited States
Period19 - 23 May 2014


This paper is about authenticating genuine van Gogh paintings from forgeries. The paintings used in the test in this paper are provided by van Gogh Museum and Kröller-Müller Museum. The authentication process depends on two key steps: feature extraction and outlier detection. In this paper, a geometric tight frame and some simple statistics of the tight frame coefficients are used to extract features from the paintings. Then a forward stage-wise rank boosting is used to select a small set of features for more accurate classification so that van Gogh paintings are highly concentrated towards some center point while forgeries are spread out as outliers. Numerical results show that our method can achieve 86.08% classification accuracy under the leave-one-out cross-validation procedure. Our method also identifies five features that are much more predominant than other features. Using just these five features for classification, our method can give 88.61% classification accuracy which is the highest so far reported in literature. Evaluation of the five features is also performed on two hundred datasets generated by bootstrap sampling with replacement. The median and the mean are 88.61% and 87.77% respectively. Our results show that a small set of statistics of the tight frame coefficients along certain orientations can serve as discriminative features for van Gogh paintings. It is more important to look at the tail distributions of such directional coefficients than mean values and standard deviations. It reflects a highly consistent style in van Gogh's brushstroke movements, where many forgeries demonstrate a more diverse spread in these features.

Research Area(s)

  • Art authentication, Feature selection, Outlier detection, Stylometry, Tight frame