AI designs place spaceships in bosch and caravaggio paintings


Filippo Nassetti unveils a series of AI-generated works which incorporate spaceships into paintings by some of the most prominent artists in art history, including Hieronymus Bosch, Canaletto and Caravaggio. The Italian generative architect and designer is experimenting with Midjourney, a recent form of artificial intelligence which asks for instructions to produce original images and imaginations. Nassetti is testing the breadth of the new software’s skills, challenging it to produce paintings in the style of famous figurative artists that include spaceships – objects the artists could never have seen or imagined existed. Through training on a very large database of historical artworks and images, Midjourney learns the visual language of artists such as several historical painters, and produces original content that imitates it.

all images produced by Filippo Nassetti with Midjourney


The result of Nassetti’s experimentation is a collection of almost science fiction interpretations of famous artists’ painted worlds. Their distinct styles and techniques are successfully imitated by the artificial intelligence software, and the visual language and atmosphere of the original paintings are convincingly reproduced and transferred to create the spaceships. The objects seem contextually completely foreign to their scenarios and landscapes, but are stylistically harmonious.

The shape and materiality of the spaceships vary depending on each artist. ‘They are not simply painted in the manner of these artists but conceived as such’, explain it generative architect and designer. Among the collection of images is a Canaletto with highly detailed ships flying over a misty Venetian lagoon, a dark and dramatic Goya with people contained inside a light aircraft, a deconstructed futuristic Boccioni, a Turner where objects merge with the rich and turbulent sky, and a drawing by Piranesi representing elevations and sections.

filippo nassetti's AI designs place spaceships in the painted worlds of bosch and caravaggio


“Beyond this collection of images, I think it can be a very powerful tool for concept design,” reflects Nassetti. ‘It opens very new territories for the exploration of art and design, while challenging many existing ideas, such as our conception of authority and copyright, the relationship between concept and development, and the role of technology. I decided to produce these images to evoke the ongoing transformations, and the new horizons.’

filippo nassetti's AI designs place spaceships in the painted worlds of bosch and caravaggio

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