The 18th/19th century Japanese artist Hokusai is famous for his iconic colour woodblock print The Great Wave. Hokusai was an extremely prolific artist and much of his surviving work is preserved in the collections of museums, galleries and libraries across the world. Hokusai is well-known for re-using similar (but not identical) designs over time in his art which includes sketches, woodblock prints, illustrated woodblock printed books and paintings. To help with authentication but also to better understand Hokusai’s work, scholars task themselves with finding similar images among Hokusai’s work. Manual investigation of the images of the woodblock prints has been fruitful also in identifying the time sequence of the prints as the woodblocks age. These questions and many other similar research questions in art history could be answered by both non-invasive advanced imaging of the artworks and an automated image classification method. The Imaging and Sensing for Archaeology, Art history and Conservation (ISAAC) Lab will provide mobile lab facility to apply a range of suitable non-invasive advanced imaging techniques (e.g. spectral imaging of a variety of modalities) in situ.
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