Popularized by a recent article in Wired magazine, speculation has rapidly spread across the internet about the ad on the dark web for a stolen painting by artist Gottfried Lindauer. Many have suggested the photo of the painting in the ad is photoshopped. I decided to end the speculation and prove it is a composite by tracking down the original photos.
Using free reverse image search technology available to everyone, I searched for the source image of the painting and then the source image of the frame/wall. Once I located the images, I analyzed them using resemble.js, the same image-matching tool I used to help predict the value of a Kandinsky painting recently sold at auction.
The infographic below outlines all the components of the composite, as well as their sources and the results of the image matching.