Abstract

Painters reproduce some spatial statistical regularities of natural scenes. To what extent they replicate their color statistics is an open question. We investigated this question by analyzing the colors of 50 natural scenes of rural and urban environments and 44 paintings with abstract and figurative compositions. The analysis was carried out using hyperspectral imaging data from both sets and focused on the gamut and distribution of colors in the CIELAB space. The results showed that paintings, like natural scenes, have gamuts with elongated shapes in the yellow–blue direction but more tilted to the red direction. It was also found that the fraction of discernible colors, expressed as a function of the number of occurrences in the scene or painting, is well described by power laws. These have similar distribution of slopes in a log–log scale for paintings and natural scenes. These features are observed in both abstract and figurative compositions. These results suggest that the underlying chromatic structure of artistic compositions generally follows the main statistical features of the natural environment.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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