A Computer Has Ranked The Human Race’s ‘Best’ Art Works

Monet and Munch among our best, according to the machine

Edvard Munch's The Scream
Edvard Munch's The Scream

A computer has cast its eye over all human artworks from 1400 to today, and picked out the human race’s best work.

Munch and Monet are pretty much the best we’ve come up with, according to the algorithm - and pop artist Roy Liechtenstein gets an honourable mention.

Student bedroom favourite The Scream by Munch was ranked as exceptional - using an algorithm which selected ‘good’ art by how original it is.

Computer scientists Ahmed Elgammal and Babek Saleh programmed their algorithm to look for new themes in colour, texture and objects the painter chose to paint.

Surprisingly, the computer turned its nose up at some of the Old Masters, deciding they were unoriginal.

The researchers say, ‘The results are interesting, if not altogether surprising; Edvard Munch's instantly recognizable The Scream is considered exceptional, along with Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein's bold Yellow Still Life and Monet's serene Haystacks at Chailly at Sunrise.

‘In contrast, works by some of the Old Masters, such as Ingres and Rodin, slip down the list—perhaps simply proving the age-old adage that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.