Bringing Klimt Back to Life With Machine Learning

Discover how Klimt's lost paintings were given a colorful new lease of life using cutting edge tech

By Google Arts & Culture

Dr. Franz Smola & Emil Wallner at Google Arts & Culture Lab in Paris

In 1900, Klimt was commissioned to paint allegorical depictions of Medicine, Jurisprudence, and Philosophy for the ceiling of the University of Vienna’s Great Hall. The University rejected them in 1907 on grounds of ‘pornography’ and ‘perverted excess’.

They passed into the hands of private collectors, and were then destroyed by SS Officers during World War 2. For decades, they survived only in black and white photos. Until now...

KlimtxLab: Entire demo

Cutting edge Machine Learning technology, trained on a data-set of Klimt's paintings, has allowed the so-called 'Faculty Paintings' to be restored to something like their former glory! Watch the process here, then scroll on to see the final results. 

Klimt x Lab, 'Philosophy' b/w

1. 'Philosophy'

Here is Moritz Nähr's 1900 photograph of Klimt's painting, Philosophy. Scroll on to see it come to life...

Philosophy (recolored with Artificial Intelligence) by Gustav KlimtBelvedere

Klimt x Lab, 'Medicine' b/w

2. 'Medicine'

Again, here's Nähr's photograph, this time of the painting Medicine. Scroll on to reveal the recolored result...

Medicine (recolored with Artificial Intelligence) by Gustav KlimtBelvedere

Klimt x Lab, 'Jurisprudence' b/w

3. 'Jurisprudence'

Finally, here's Jurisprudence. Keep scrolling...

Jurisprudence (recolored with Artificial Intelligence) by Gustav KlimtBelvedere

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