Science & Tech
Can You Recognize These Celebrities Through a Renaissance Filter? This Website Uses A.I. to Leonardo da Vinci-fy Any Photo
Take our quiz to see if you can identify the celebrities with 'Da Vinci face.'
Have you ever wondered what it would look like if Leonardo da Vinci had painted your portrait? If you have, or if the idea came to you just now, there’s a website for you: DaVinci Face, which uses artificial intelligence to transform users’ photos into personalized Mona Lisa selfies.
The virtual platform, from Mathema, a tech company in Florence, Italy, uses artificial intelligence (AI) and sophisticated machine learning algorithms trained to mimic Leonardo da Vinci paintings like the Mona Lisa and La Belle Ferronnière.
It was harder than researchers may have thought. The existing neural style transfer techniques were not sophisticated enough to capture Leonardo’s masterful brushstrokes.
“Leonardo’s style is particularly hard to capture due to the widespread use of chiaroscuro, a pictorial technique where shapes are formed directly from color instead of having a prior drawing that is, then, colored,” Mathema spokesperson Massimiliano Bellini told the Art Newspaper.
To generate new Leonardo-style portraits, the company had to develop new deep learning generative neural network (GAN) technology based on no fewer than 500 million parameters.
To achieve the best result, users should choose a photo with a neutral background, where you can see the person’s entire face. The algorithm can only handle one figure at a time, so no group photos. Also, we’re talking about the Mona Lisa, so give it your best mysterious half-smile—no toothy grins here.
If all goes well, a new version of your photo, blended with features from Leonardo’s paintings, will be emailed to you.
Demand is currently so high for the Da Vinci Face treatment that “the whole process may take a few hours or even a few days,” according to an auto-response email from the company. (Normally, it takes about 100 seconds.) Luckily, we got in ahead of the crowds and were able to turn out some celebrity Renaissance portraits for your enjoyment.
Can you recognize these A-listers in Mona Lisa-form? (Be forewarned—the algorithm doesn’t generate much range in its skin tones, which may make it tricky.)
Here are the answers:
Follow Artnet News on Facebook:
Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.