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Shazam for art exists? This app can identify paintings with mobile

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Shazam for art exists? This app can identify paintings with mobile

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Shazam is an application that allows the user to instantly find out which song is playing by providing song, artist and album names. The success of the platform was so great that today it has over one billion downloads and 20 million daily uses. In 2018 it was bought by Apple worth $ 400 million.

With this, several other applications were born with the same goal of identification, but several objects, including plants and clothes. And now, of art!

Founded in 2013 and headquartered in New York City by Magnus Resch, startup Magnus (of the eponymous app) offers all users a database of over 10 million art images. Most of these images are from crowdsourcing and are intended to provide information on art such as artist, dimensions, gallery and auction prices, history of gallery and museum exhibitions.

According to the platform's website, the chance of matching, ie finding information about the artwork, is over 70%. If they do not identify it immediately, the photo will be worked by the team and in a few minutes or hours, the user will get your answer.

For the Shazam of art to work, you have to go through a lot of difficulties. Among them, the copyright law. According to Resch, Magnus was removed from the Apple Store for five months in 2016 due to complaints from galleries and competitors about uploading images and data to the app. The app only returned to the store after confirming that the disputed content has been removed.

Also, there is the issue of 3D object recognition, because depending on the angle the photo was taken may confuse the application and get a wrong answer.

The app is really interesting for adding information that is not provided by the galleries such as title and artist name.


Another art shazam, but works in a different way. It joins museums and galleries to upload their collections and artist information to make them available to users.

However, by uniting directly with the sites, it is not possible to identify works of art from others. For example, if the app partners with MoMA, all of the gear there can be found on the platform. However, if Met is not on your partnership list, it will be difficult to identify the works there.

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