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Gaze Behavior in Museums

Gaze Behavior 01

In this research project we analyzed gaze behavior in museums during several consecutive studies. In cooperation with the Alte Pinakothek München, the Neue Pinakothek München and the Ostdeutsche Galerie Regensburg we scrutinized the ocular fixation of original paintings with mobile eye-tracking glasses in situ. We also conducted investigations of digital versions of paintings in laboratory experiments using an eye-tracking device.

In one of our studies we assessed the regions of interest (ROI) as defined by our art expert as relevant areas of a painting from an art historical point of view, the duration of fixations and the order in which ROIs were fixated. We compared these ROIs to the actual fixation data of museum visitors based on the fixation duration on pixels of a painting. (Among the investigated paintings are i.a. ‘The Battle of Alexander at Issus ’ by Albrecht Altdorfer, ‘The Great Last Judgement’ by Peter Paul Rubens, and ‘The Great Martyrdom’ by Lovis Corinth).

We also investigated the influence of the presentation mode: Are there differences in gaze behavior between the digital version of a painting and the original version in the museum? Besides the paintings mentioned above we examined Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Plain Near Auvers’ and ‘View of Arles, Flowering Orchards’ as well as ‘Plowing in the Engadin’ by Giovanni Segantini.

In another study we assessed to what extend we could lead the viewers’ gaze by manipulation of elements within the paintings. We analyzed Lovis Corinth’s ‘On the Beach at Forte dei Marmi’, Rudolph Alois Watznauer’s ‘Tramway of Prague’ and works by Josef Mittlmeier.


Al-Baddai, S., Ströhl, B., Ludwig, B. & Lang, E. W. (2017). Do Museum Visitors See what Educators Want Them to See? PATCH 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia.

Ströhl, B., Mittlmeier, J. & Hammwöhner, R. (2016). Directing the viewer’s gaze in landscape paintings. SWAET Turku, Finnland, 19.-21.06.2016.

Ströhl, B. (2016). Original vs. Digital – Blickanalyse bei Kunstwerken. Vortrag auf der Tagung Digital Art History, Regensburg, 07. - 09.04.2016.


Logo Infosci Ur

Lst. für Informationswissenschaft, UR

Logo Bildende Kunst Ur

Logo Pinakotheken

Alte und Neue Pinakothek München

Logo Kunstforum

Ostdeutsche Galerie Regensburg


Portrait Barbara Stroehl

Barbara Ströhl, M.A., Informationswissenschaft, UR

Portrait Bernd Ludwig

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bernd Ludwig, Informationswissenschaft, UR

Portrait Saad Al-baddai

Dr. Saad Al-Baddai, Informationswissenschaft, UR

Portrait Josef Mittlmeier

Akad. Dir. Josef Mittlmeier, Bildende Kunst und Ästhetische Erziehung, UR


Barbara Ströhl, M.A.