Hi! I'm Weixuan Li

I'm an art historian and digital humanist.
I aspire to fuse humanities research and advanced information technology.

Weixuan Li

I always try to find creative ways to look at early-modern Dutch art through digital lenses

        I am a post-doctoral researcher at Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS). My current research focuses on using computer vision to analyse paintings of 17th-century domestic interiors. Before joining LUCAS, I conducted my doctoral research employing a spatial perspective to unravel the art and market development in 17th-century Amsterdam (2023). This research is part of the NWO research project: Virtual Interiors as Interfaces for Big Historical Data Research and my part focuses on using space (2D or 3D) as an anchor to align historical evidence to tell a story about the 17th-century Amsterdam and its painters. 

       My research interests centre around 17th-century Dutch art and market and the spatial, urban, and socio-economical circumstances in which the artworks were created. I am interested in probing the interplay between artistic invention and economic consideration, understanding artists’ choices and behaviors, and using digital means to visualize (2D and 3D) the hidden knowledge within archival sources.

        In my last life, I graduated from the dual-masters program in Urban Planning and Transportation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and worked as a senior consultant and transportation economist for the Steer Group in Boston.

        When not by my desk reading, writing, or coding, I am likely testing my physical limit. I  was a marathons runner in Boston (have done five). After moving to Amsterdam, I picked up kickboxing, boxing and recently cycling.

What I do

My research explores innovative ways to examine, evaluate, and visualize the 17th-century Dutch art and the art market

For instance, my dissertation applies the following three digital approaches:

mapping Historical locations of artists

Geo-translating early modern location descriptions and (deep) mapping painters' workshops

Modeling probate inventories in 3D

Modeling inventories in 3D to understand the domestic space for making and displaying art

Building Social & subject network

Analyzing networks to understand the transmission of ideas and social standings among artists

On-going research

Analyse the placement of objects in paintings with AI
Model historical household objects in 3D

Virtual Interiors project

Virtual Interiors project overview
Mapping artists and art dealers in Amsterdam
Deep mapping painters in 17th-century Amsterdam
Variance in displaying paintings at home

Other projects

Social bubble hypothesis to explain painting production
Bidloo and Lairesse - Anatomia and the worlds (w/ L. v.d. Deijl)
Gerard Lairesse's Workshop practice
Textual analysis of vocabularies to describe paintings
Inventory as sources for 3D modeling (with C. Piccoli)
Investigating Rembrandt's neighborhood
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