“Il nome di Giorgione”: Observations on Crowe and Cavalcaselle’s Connoisseurship
Crowe and Cavalcaselle were the most important connoisseurs of the nineteenth century. Significantly, the Anglo-Italian partnership fundamentally changed the way we think about the Venetian painter Giorgione by dratically reducing the number of paintings attributed to him. Crowe and Cavalcaselle considered their connoisseurship as broadly scientific, partially based on their analysis of technique and expert vocabulary, but also their systematic scepticism, and nowhere is this more evident than their study of Giorgione. Through a close analysis of the primary sources – the multiple preparatory notes, drawings, watercolours, annotated books, letters and manuscripts held in archives in Venice and London – this article seeks to reconstruct their deconstruction of Giorgione, and evaluate the “scientificness” of their connoisseurship.