‘DaVinciFace’ Reimagines Your Selfies As If They Were Painted By The Old Master
By Mikelle Leow, 31 Jan 2022
If you’ve been told you have an interesting or exquisite face but somehow haven’t been painted, you can finally get a museum-worthy portrait in your likeness, thanks to artificial intelligence.
Created by Florence-based tech firm Mathema, ‘DaVinciFace’ is an AI project that converts selfies into self-portraits reminiscent of the work of Leonardo da Vinci. The site promises to deliver an inspired piece within two minutes.
Massimiliano Bellini, a spokesperson for the company, shares in a statement to The Art Newspaper that Mathema intends to “revive the splendor of the Italian Renaissance” with this technology, starting with the “most famous polymath genius in history.”
‘DaVinciFace’ was trained on beloved artworks like the Mona Lisa and La Belle Ferronnière, as well as some “500 million parameters,” to capture Da Vinci’s style, which the firm says has been especially tricky.
While its knowhow has made it relatively easy to build its other AI projects, turning selfies into Da Vinci-style images isn’t as simple due to the painter’s frequent use of chiaroscuro—a style where shapes are drawn from color, rather than “having a prior drawing that is, then, colored,” Bellini notes. The images uploaded on the platform, after all, are selfies with fully fleshed-out shapes.
“Leonardo’s style could not be captured with ordinary Neural Style Transfer techniques,” Mathema describes.
The platform has since received some funding from “some cultural associations in Vinci,” where Da Vinci was born.
As you might have noticed, history hasn’t been the best role model in representation. This tool could finally offer a preview—if only an imaginary one—of what Renaissance art could have looked if Black, Indigenous, and Asian individuals, as well as other people of color, were as prominently painted. Try it out here.
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