"Art history, as you probably know, is a nasty, vicious profession"
Iain Pears, The Raphael Affair, 1990, Chap 2

à bout de souffle

Page Twenty-One

"Scholars belong to guilds held together by common opinions, attitudes, and methods. As a rule, innovation is welcome only when it is confined to surface details and does not modify the structure as a whole."
Cyrus H.Gordon, 1982

Here's a fun page

spot the cuckoos

Put Peter Monamy into Google Images, and this, more or less, is what you'll get. The selection varies every time, but the mixture is fairly consistent. The criteria are mysterious; discrimination is almost non-existent. Duplicated paintings are blanked out below, although I see two duplicates have nevertheless been carelessly missed. Ninety-four pictures are shown, at the last count. Of these, I seem to have rejected twenty as being beyond the pale of acceptable authenticity. My opinion. They are labelled NO. A small number of them are quite certainly by quite other painters. Only two are of completely rock-solid provenance, but there are a few, by virtue of subject and manner, that could not possibly be the products of anyone else's studio. Fifty pass; the remainder I dither over. Very rough and ready, the whole exercise. Draw whatever conclusions you wish. Like it's already been said on an earlier page, who needs authenticity, anyway. Know what I mean? See what I say?

This selection should be compared with the paintings supplied by the BBC's Your Paintings, whose selection is a good deal less confusing, and misleading. A number of the pictures nevertheless labelled YES above are missing from the BBC 's list, and I suppose a third even more discriminating guide ought to be compiled.

I can't resist quoting Virgil's line from the Aeneid, spoken by Aeneas at a difficult time:
"Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit."
"Perhaps one day we will enjoy remembering even this."
So his advice is "durate et vosmet rebus servate secundis" -
"endure and preserve yourselves for more favourable times".

"Always be ready to speak your mind, and a base man will ignore you."
William Blake, 1790-3

"Only he who is directly interested in a thing, and occupies himself with it from love of it, will pursue it with entire seriousness."
Arthur Schopenhauer, 1851

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to be continued

chronology & authenticity
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© Charles Harrison-Wallace 2013
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