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Rubens masterpiece is a fake, according to artificial intelligence study

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Samson and Delilah was bought by the British National Gallery for £2.5 million in 1980

Samson and Delilah was bought by the British National Gallery for £2.5 million in 1980

Samson and Delilah was bought by the British National Gallery for £2.5 million in 1980

A masterpiece worth millions in the British National Gallery is a fake, according to a study using artificial intelligence (AI).

Peter Paul Rubens’s Samson and Delilah has long been the subject of debate, with some critics suggesting the painting was not created by the 17th-century Flemish master.

The painting, bought by the national gallery for £2.5 million in 1980, is almost certainly a fake, according to analysis. An AI programme was used to scan the canvas listed as one of the gallery’s “highlights”.

Dr Carina Popovici, the scientist who carried out the investigation, said: “The results are quite astonishing. The algorithm has returned a 91pc probability for the artwork not being authentic. I was so shocked.”

She told The Guardian: “Every patch, every single square, came out as fake, with more than 90pc probability.”

The technology was used to scan another painting attributed to Rubens – A View of Het Steen in the Early Morning – with results indicating a 98.76pc probability that it was painted by the artist.


It has been suggested that Samson and Delilah was erroneously declared to be by Rubens in the 1920s by art expert Ludwig Burchard, who was later found to have misattributed paintings for his own commercial gain.

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Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022]


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