Artibus et Historiae no. 18 (IX)

1988, ISSN 0391-9064

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Buy article pdf

DAVID EBITZ - Connoisseurship as Practice

Connoisseurship has been criticized as subjective and unscientific. Yet it fosters several skills central to our activity as historians of art: a practiced eye, visual memory, sensitivity to quality, and an ability to re-create the creations of artists. And connoisseurship has more in common with contemporary scientific inquiry than with the empirical, positivist model of science on the basis of which it is still being criticized as unscientific. In practice, the attributions of connoisseurship and the hypotheses of science may be dependent, for the individual and for the context in which he or she operates, upon the interaction of the following: (1) the authority of the person uttering the hypothetical "truth", (2) the correspondence of the hypothesis with observable phenomena whose observation is in part determined by that "truth", (3) the internal coherence of the hypothesis and its consistency with related "truths", and (4) the fruitfulness of the "truth" in leading to further "truths".

Editor-in-chief Advisory Committee
Latest issue
All issues
Bibliotheca Artibus et Historiae
Our authors
Advertising in Artibus et Historiae
How to buy
Buy articles in PDF