Computer processing of digital images of artwork in support of art scholarship is an emerging and rapidly growing cross-disciplinary field of research. The image processing for art investigation (IP4AI) workshops, first established in 2007, seek to provide a home for this emerging area, which crosses so many traditional disciplinary boundaries.

The aim of IP4AI is to support art scholarship with new computational tools that enable new findings. It seeks to bring together researchers from art history and conservation together with researchers working in computer science, computational image processing, machine learning, mathematics, and statistics to find fertile areas for collaborations and common inquiry.

Examples of successful collaborations to date have included:

  • Development of an automatic ‘thread counting’ software, which has been used to identify canvas weave match cliques in Vincent Van Gogh’s oeuvre;
  • Detection of micro-scale features of brushwork that seem to reflect an artist’s differing levels of hesitation while painting a copy vs. original painting;
  • Digital correction of cracks in an image of the Ghent Altarpiece, which facilitates interpretation of its painted text;
  • Computerized virtual reconstruction of paintings hidden underneath other surface paintings from X-ray fluorescence data;
  • Automated identification of historic photographic papers from raking light photomicrographs.

Computational image processing thus allows art scholars access to new sources of data to support possible findings, or automates onerous tasks allowing scholarship at a scale not previously possible, while computational image processing benefits from pushing itself to develop new tools to address new questions.

The Sixth International IP4AI workshop takes place in the beautiful city of Ghent, Belgium on June 21-22, 2018. The workshop will be conveniently located in the Auditorium of the Museum of Fine Arts (MSK), where currently the restoration of the Ghent Altarpiece, receiving world-wide attention, is taking place.

A two-day workshop will comprise contributed and invited lectures that feature state-of-the-art in digital painting analysis, and more generally, in art investigation and also point and discuss some of the open problems and challenges in this rapidly evolving field.

Contributed presentations will be accepted based on an abstract of up to 500 words (approx. 1 page) and a final extended abstract (up to 2 pages). Abstracts should contain next to the (tentative) title, full list of authors and a brief summary of the work, possibly with few key references. Please send the abstracts by e-mail to ip4ai@lists.ugent.be. All the accepted contributions will be incorporated into a proceeding.

We hope you will join us.


Abstracts due: April 1, 2018
Acceptance notification: April 25, 2018
Final extended abstracts due: June 10, 2018
Registration due: June 15, 2018
Workshop: June 21 -22, 2018


The conference program is now available. Click here to view the pdf file.

The IP4AI 2018 proceedings are available here.


John K. Delaney
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Multi-modal imaging spectroscopy of paintings and illuminated manuscripts (abstract)


Invited Talks

Unveiling the invisible - mathematical approaches for virtual image restoration

Carola-Bibiane Schönlieb
University of Cambridge, UK


Automatic appreciation of aesthetics in photography: Where are we going?

Henri Maître
Telecom ParisTech, France


The Mategna frescoes in Padua: computer assisted puzzle solving and recolorization

Massimo Fornasier
Technische Universität München, Germany


Improving the reliability of CNNs for digital artwork analysis

Eric Postma
Tilburg University, the Netherlands


The Visual Science of Art Conference: History and aims

Daniele Zavagno
University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy


The renovation and protection of the rich cultural and artistic heritage of the Hilandar Monastery

Dubravka Đukanović
Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, Serbia


Transforming conservation

Ella Hendriks
University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands


Anisotropic multiscale representations for an automated and reproducible analysis and classification of photographic paper

Patrice Abry
Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon, France


Paintings’ alternations in the past and in the future: non-invasive x-ray based imaging of subsurface information and how to improve upon it

Koen Janssens
University of Antwerp, Belgium


The Conservation of the Brothers van Eyck’s Ghent Altarpiece

Hélène Dubois
KIK-IRPA/Ghent University, Belgium



The registration is free of charge but required to provide access to the workshop location.

Please register following this link.

Registration For The Evening Program

The Evening Program includes a guided Boat & Walking Tour of Ghent and the Conference Dinner. See this flyer.
The registration is necessary through the following link and the online payment should be processed here.

Scientific Committee

Patrice Abry, École Normale Supérieure De Lyon, CNRS
Laura Alba Carcelén, Museo del Prado, Madrida
Bruno Cornelis, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Ingrid Daubechies, Duke University
Marc De Mey, Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts (KVAB)
Nikos Deligiannis, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Ann Dooms, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Ella Hendriks, University of Amsterdam
Catherine Higgitt, The National Gallery, London
Stephane Jaffard, University Paris-Est Créteil (UPEC)
Maximiliaan Martens, Ghent University
Aleksandra Pizurica, Ghent University
Ljiljana Platisa, IMEC
Eric Postma,Tilburg University
Miguel Rodrigues, University College London
Carola-Bibiane Schönlieb, University of Cambridge

Organizing Committe

Aleksandra Pizurica, Ghent University
Ljiljana Platisa, IMEC
Maximiliaan Martens, Ghent University
Bruno Cornelis, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Nikos Deligiannis, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Miguel Rodrigues, University College London
Ingrid Daubechies, Duke University

Hotel & Travel Info

We have blocked a number of rooms at

Aparthotel Castelnou
Kasteellaan 51
9000 Gent
Tel. +32 (0)9 235 04 11

These will likely go quickly, so please make sure to reserve as soon as possible
by contacting the hotel at info@castelnou.be and letting them know you are with
the IP4AI conference.

Other hotel options for accommodation:

Ghent River Hotel
Waaistraat 5
9000 Gent
Tel. +32 (0)9 266 10 10

Novotel Gent Centrum
Goudenleeuwplein 5
9000 Gent
Tel. +32 (0)9 293 90 02

Hotel Gravensteen
Jan Breydelstraat 35
9000 Gent
Tel. +32 (0)9 225 11 50

Monasterium PoortAckere
Oude Houtlei 56
9000 Gent
Tel. +32 (0)9 269 22 62

Ibis Opera Ghent
Nederkouter 24
9000 Gent
Tel. +32 (0)9 225 07 07


Department Telecommunications and Information Processing
Ghent University
Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 41
9000 Ghent

The conference is held at the Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Fernand Scribedreef 1, 9000 Gent, Belgium.