Reshetnikov, A., Marinescu, MC., Lopez, J.M. (2023). DEArt: Dataset of European Art. In: Karlinsky, L., Michaeli, T., Nishino, K. (eds) Computer Vision – ECCV 2022 Workshops. ECCV 2022. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 13801. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-25056-9_15
Large datasets that were made publicly available to the research community over the last 20 years have been a key enabling factor for the advances in deep learning algorithms for NLP or computer vision. These datasets are generally pairs of aligned image / manually annotated metadata, where images are photographs of everyday life. Scholarly and historical content, on the other hand, treat subjects that are not necessarily popular to a general audience, they may not always contain a large number of data points, and new data may be difficult or impossible to collect. Some exceptions do exist, for instance, scientific or health data, but this is not the case for cultural heritage (CH). The poor performance of the best models in computer vision - when tested over artworks - coupled with the lack of extensively annotated datasets for CH, and the fact that artwork images depict objects and actions not captured by photographs, indicate that a CH-specific dataset would be highly valuable for this community. We propose DEArt, at this point primarily an object detection and pose classification dataset meant to be a reference for paintings between the XIIth and the XVIIIth centuries. It contains more than 15000 images, about 80% non-iconic, aligned with manual annotations for the bounding boxes identifying all instances of 69 classes as well as 12 possible poses for boxes identifying human-like objects. Of these, more than 50 classes are CH-specific and thus do not appear in other datasets; these reflect imaginary beings, symbolic entities and other categories related to art. Additionally, existing datasets do not include pose annotations. Our results show that object detectors for the cultural heritage domain can achieve a level of precision comparable to state-of-art models for generic images via transfer learning.