Sunday, 26 April 2009

Leonardo Attributions

Andrea del Verrocchio - Detail from Beheading of the Baptist (1477–1483)I must admit I'm irritated by "experts" who make wild attributions of artworks to famous artists, perceiving some quality of greatness in the work that means it must have been created by The Master. Usually it has more to do with wish fulfillment than discernment. According to Gary Radke, Professor of the Humanities at Syracuse University, two figures in Andrea del Verrocchio's relief sculpture Beheading of the Baptist (1477–1483) are by Leonardo da Vinci, who was Verrocchio's apprentice. It is possible, but take a close look at the effeminate youth in armour, holding a Frisbee and in mid curtsy to the kneeling Baptist. Do you see the hallmark of genius in this incompetent pose? Click the title link to see a larger graphic which includes the second figure attributed to Leonardo by Prof. Radke. It is excellent, but the prof. can't tell a turban from a knight's helmet! This relief from the Silver Altar of the Florentine Baptistery will visit the USA for the first time in Leonardo da Vinci: Hand of the Genius at the High Museum of Art Atlanta, 6 October to 21 February 2010.


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