Artibus et Historiae no. 61 (XXXI)

2010, ISSN 0391-9064

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ACHIM GNANN - On the Connoisseurship and Art-Historical Methodology of Konrad Oberhuber

This article deals with the expertise and art-historical methodology of Konrad Oberhuber. The methodological principles are based on the teachings of the Vienna school of art history, on the one hand, and developed from Oberhuber's museum experience and research work, on the other. Oberhuber was not only one of the most prominent specialists in the field of drawing and one of the most important art historians of our time, he also distinguished himself from other experts by providing detailed written documentation of his attributions, which were grounded in solid scholarship. In a number of examples is explained the approach of this scholar, who had a remarkable visual memory and an exceptional eye.

One of Oberhuber's theories has not yet received the full recognition that it deserves from other scholars of art history. Based on the teachings of Rudolph Steiner, it maintains that the seven-year cycles that occur in human development are also to be found in the works of art. This step-by-step development, which Oberhuber explained using the example of Raphael's oeuvre, can also be applied to the works of other artists, offering art-historical researchers entirely new possibilities with regard to the dating of artworks.

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