If painters give you lemons, squeeze the knowledge out of them: A study on the visual perception of the translucent and juicy appearance of citrus fruits in paintings

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Abstract

Citrus fruits are characterized by a juicy and translucent interior, important properties that drive material recognition and food acceptance. Yet, a thorough understanding of their visual perception is still missing. Using citrus fruits depicted in 17th-century paintings as stimuli, we ran three rating experiments. In Experiment 1, participants rated the perceived similarity in translucency or juiciness of the fruits. In Experiment 2, different groups of participants rated one image feature from a list obtained in a preliminary experiment. In Experiment 3, translucency and juiciness were rated. We constructed two-dimensional perceptual spaces for both material properties and fitted the ratings of the image features into the spaces to interpret them. "Highlights," "peeled side," "bumpiness," and "color saturation" fit the juiciness space best and were high for the highly juicy stimuli. "Peeled side," "intensity of light gradient," "highlights," and "color saturation" were the most salient features of the translucency space, being high for the highly translucent stimuli. The same image features were also indicated in a 17th-century painting manual for material depiction (Beurs, 1692; Beurs, in press). Altogether, we disclosed the expertise of painters with regard to material perception by identifying the image features that trigger a visual impression of juiciness and translucency in citrus fruits.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of vision
Volume20
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • OA-Fund TU Delft

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