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Scientific Reasoning in Art

Evaluating evidence in paintings research

This project will apply Bayesian networks to questions regarding authentication of paintings. To help clarify complex situations where the relative weight of evidence with respect to a given hypothesis needs to be established, it is possible to use Bayesian networks, probabilistic mathematical models.

These networks can accommodate a large variation in data and can quantify the value or weight of each piece of evidence and how it influences a hypothesis in relation to other evidence. The networks are flexible and allow the incorporation of new evidence and thus quantify its influence on the overall chain of evidence. Introducing Bayesian networks will show if the system can be of interest for a broader range of research questions and could ultimately lead to a fundamental change in research methodology.

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NWO project summary

Principal Investigator

  • Dr. M.J.N. Stols-Witlox (University of Amsterdam)

Co-Principal Investigator

  • Prof. dr. M.J. Sjerps (Netherlands Forensic Institute)

Research team

  • Dr. E. Hendriks (Van Gogh Museum, University of Amsterdam)
  • Prof. dr. L. van Tilborgh (Van Gogh Museum, University of Amsterdam)
  • Prof.dr. A. Wallert (Rijksmuseum, University of Amsterdam)

Participating institutions

  • Netherlands Forensic Institute
  • Rijksmuseum
  • University of Amsterdam
  • Van Gogh Museum

 

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dr. M.J.N. (Maartje) Stols-Witlox

Principal Investigator

Nicas