The Telegraph reports scientists at Rutgers, State University of New Jersey have made claims that computers which are equipped with with face-and object-recognition technology which can lead to understanding how artists influence each other.

The experiment fed 1,710 images of art by 66 artists from five centuries in order to detect parallels. For example the computer picked up on the similarities between Diego Velazquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X and Francis Bacon's Study After Velazquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent. As well as this the experiment detected similarities which art historians had not previously made including the likeness between between Frédéric Bazille's Studio 9 rue de la Condamine (1870) and Norman Rockwell's Shuffleton's Barber Shop.


Norman Rockwell, Shuffleton's Barbershop (1950)


Frédéric Bazille, Studio; 9 rue de la Condamine (1870)

The paper explaining the experiment detailed how: "The painting might not look similar at the first glance, however, a closer look reveals striking similarity in compositions and subject matter, that is detected by our automated methodology."

The scientists concluded: "We are not asserting truths but instead suggesting a possible path towards a difficult task of measuring influence."