This research shows human beings prefer to look at painted portraits more than photographs. Today’s portrait artists should always be supported and encouraged. Our own Phil Boatwright brought this article to our attention. He said that Rembrandt’s technique had baffled him since childhood. Now explained in technical detail for all to savor… Boatwright is content. There may be some similarities in Rembrandt’s and Boatwright’s work! Contact us for his portfolio of commissioned portraits.This research done by iVizLab, which concentrates on expression based intelligent visuals and visualization lab research. The iVizLab is directed by Assoc. Professor Steve DiPaola and is located in the School of Interactive Art and Technology and the Cognitive Science Program at Simon Fraser University. (Canada) Steve DiPaola lead these experiments and recorded results in conjunction with James Enns and Caitlin Riebe. Below are their findings.
Using new visual computer modelling techniques, iVizLab shows that artists use vision based techniques (lost and found edges, center of focus techniques) to guide the eye path of the viewer through their paintings in significant ways. These methods are known but have rarely been proven; even so, they typically are considered modern painting techniques. We have research that hypothesizes that Rembrandt, reacting to his Italian contemporaries, may have been the first to fully develop these specific painterly techniques, ones that are typically not associated with the early modern period – that engage the viewer and direct their gaze. Did artists like Rembrandt intuit a certain understanding of vision science (central visioning) that scientists only fully understood centuries later? New data from scientific eye tracking studies appear to show how Rembrandt’s late portraits exhibit strong use of vision based techniques.