Or does it? A computer program has been designed to look at and analyze paintings, and thereby place them in their respective historical categories.

“In the experiment, the researchers used approximately 1, 000 paintings of 34 well-known artists, and let the computer algorithm analyze the similarity between them based solely on the visual content of the paintings, and without any human guidance. Surprisingly, the computer provided a network of similarities between painters that is largely in agreement with the perception of art historians.”

I’m not surprised that this is possible. The characteristic styles of the artists whose works were used are fairly discreet and describable. For me, the more interesting questions would be: Did the computer (program) like a particular painting? Was it good art?