The Venetian Gentleman and How We Interpret Expressions

Portrait of a Venetian Gentleman

Portrait of a Venetian Gentleman

In case you were beginning to doubt my assertions that this is a fine art blog, here we go: I finally had a chance to finish Tyler Green’s wonderful four-part series on the attribution of the painting Portrait of a Venetian Gentleman, and his relation of National Gallery of Art curator David Alan Brown’s thoughts about the mixed attributions of Titian and Giorgione, and his decisions about who actually painted it, his thoughts on the fallacies of relying too much on assertions purely ebcause they’re based in science, and of our propensity for adding perceived pscyhology to the table.

The whole thing was quite interesting, and I won’t steal any of Tyler’s eloquence by trying to sum it up, but I will point you to the four posts here, here, here, and here.

Oh, and I’ll point out this quote from curator Brown, which I quite like:

“It’s not a sterile debate about who did a painting that’s 500-years-old,” Brown said. “It’s about how we look at paintings and how we read them and the kind of evidence we look for when we want to make statements about them and the difference in reading this evidence whether it’s a facial expression or the evidence of x-rays. It’s kind of our attempt to understand the signals or the messages that were put into this picture 500 years ago. It’s fraught with complications and difficulties — and yet there are strong human motivations behind it.