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On spectacles and magnifying glasses: the connoisseur in action

Kobi , Valérie (2021) On spectacles and magnifying glasses: the connoisseur in action. Journal of Art Historiography (24). ISSN 2042-4752

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URL of Published Version: https://arthistoriography.files.wordpress.com/2021/05/kobi.pdf

Identification Number/DOI: https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00003421


The development of optical devices in the course of the seventeenth century had a profound impact on the history of science, leading disciplines such as physics, astronomy, and biology to a major experimental and visual revolution. The introduction of such instruments in the field of connoisseurship has, strangely enough, attracted less scholarly attention. Yet, as Watteau’s famous Enseigne de Gersaint (1720) testifies, the practice of looking through a lens to scrutinise artworks was already well-established at the beginning of the eighteenth century and considered an important tool of expertise. The present article focuses on the beginning of this tradition, aiming to examine the changes it generated in the reception of artworks as well as to explore its repercussions on early modern art theory. In this context, the role played by vision aids in the art expert’s discourse will be a part

Type of Work:Article
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies
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This article is archived in ePapers for preservation purposes

Date:June 2021
Keywords:optical devices, connoisseurship, vision aids, Jean-Antoine Watteau
Subjects:N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Copyright Status:Copyright for articles published in this journal is retained by the authors, with first publication rights granted to the journal. Authors may subsequently archive and publish the pdfs as produced by the journal. By virtue of their appearance in this open access journal, articles are free to use, with proper attribution, in educational and other non-commercial settings. Copyright restrictions apply to the use of any images contained within the articles. This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
ID Code:3421
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