Abstract

In a previous study based on monitor simulations of artistic paintings, it was found that the average correlated color temperature (CCT) of daylight preferred by a large set of observers to illuminate paintings was around 5100 K. The goal of the present study was to test if this result holds in real viewing conditions, i.e., with real paintings and real light sources. The same 11 paintings were tested in real conditions illuminated by a spectrally tunable light source and with accurate monitor simulations. To ensure uniform illumination across the paintings, only a central part of the paintings was visible to the observers. It was found that the average CCT preferred for real and monitor viewing conditions were very similar, 5500 and 5700 K, respectively. The somewhat larger CCT obtained with monitor viewing in relation to the former study was only observed in some paintings and was attributed to the smaller viewing area. These results confirm that CCT for best appreciation of paintings is higher than normally used in museums, and the viewing conditions, real or simulated, have only a minor effect.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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