The painting ‘Madonna della Rossa,’ attributed to Raphael in 1518, had a ghost painter who rendered Joseph’s face, according to an AI analysis. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Raphael Credited Painting Had Face of Joseph Added by Unknown Artist

After years of debate among art experts, a group of researchers from the Universities of Nottingham, Bradford, and Stanford employed AI-based deep learning analysis to examine the painting and found that the artist Raphael painted the majority of it, but the face of Joseph is likely the work of a different artist, according to a story on

Professor Hassan Ugail, director of the Centre for Visual Computing and Intelligent Systems at the University of Bradford, said that his algorithm, which has 98% accuracy in recognizing Raphael works, did the analysis.

“Using deep feature analysis, we used pictures of authenticated Raphael paintings to train the computer to recognise his style to a very detailed degree, from the brushstrokes, the colour palette, the shading and every aspect of the work.  The computer sees far more deeply than the human eye, to microscopic level,” Ugail said.

When first tested, the results proved inconclusive, so Ugail had the algorithm analyze the painting, called the “Madonna della Rosa,” in sections.