The Watermark Identification in Rembrandt's Etchings (WIRE) Project at Cornell

December 6, 2018

The chronology of Rembrandt's print production has been linked to his usage of batches of paper, each identified by the presence of a specific watermark or its twin. Using a decision tree strategy and a chainspace match comparison, the Watermark Identification in Rembrandt's Etchings (WIRE) Project at Cornell has developed a computer-based interrogatory allowing identification of the watermark from a Rembrandt print among more than 500 possibilities in a matter of minutes. Observations having art-historical impact can be gleaned from watermark identification in Rembrandt's etchings. The talk focused on the results of the WIRE Project's analysis of the Rembrandt prints with watermarks in The Frick Collection.

Speaker(s): C. Richard Johnson, Jr., Fellow in Computational Arts and Humanities at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute, and Geoffrey S. M. Hedrick Senior Professor of Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Cornell University

The lecture was followed by a panel discussion with three specialists: curator Andy Weislogel (Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art); conservator Margaret Holben Ellis (Institute of Fine Arts, New York University); and The Frick Collection's Associate Research Curator Margaret Iacono.

 

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