Unveiling the invisible: mathematical methods for restoring and interpreting illuminated manuscripts

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Calatroni, Luca 
d’Autume, Marie 
Hocking, Rob 
Panayotova, Stella 
Parisotto, Simone 

Abstract The last 50 years have seen an impressive development of mathematical methods for the analysis and processing of digital images, mostly in the context of photography, biomedical imaging and various forms of engineering. The arts have been mostly overlooked in this process, apart from a few exceptional works in the last 10 years. With the rapid emergence of digitisation in the arts, however, the arts domain is becoming increasingly receptive to digital image processing methods and the importance of paying attention to this therefore increases. In this paper we discuss a range of mathematical methods for digital image restoration and digital visualisation for illuminated manuscripts. The latter provide an interesting opportunity for digital manipulation because they traditionally remain physically untouched. At the same time they also serve as an example for the possibilities mathematics and digital restoration offer as a generic and objective toolkit for the arts.

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