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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Editor: Franco Gori
  • Vol. 31, Iss. 4 — Apr. 1, 2014
  • pp: A214–A219

Best lighting for visual appreciation of artistic paintings—experiments with real paintings and real illumination

Sérgio Miguel Cardoso Nascimento and Osamu Masuda  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 31, Issue 4, pp. A214-A219 (2014)

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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

OCIS Codes
(170.3010) Medical optics and biotechnology : Image reconstruction techniques
(330.1720) Vision, color, and visual optics : Color vision
(330.5510) Vision, color, and visual optics : Psychophysics
(330.1715) Vision, color, and visual optics : Color, rendering and metamerism

ToC Category:
Chromatic discrimination

Original Manuscript: October 3, 2013
Revised Manuscript: January 2, 2014
Manuscript Accepted: January 6, 2014
Published: February 12, 2014

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Vol. 9, Iss. 6 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Sérgio Miguel Cardoso Nascimento and Osamu Masuda, "Best lighting for visual appreciation of artistic paintings—experiments with real paintings and real illumination," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 31, A214-A219 (2014)

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