Greta Koppel “Hüvasti konossöörlus? Kunstiteos kui kunstiajaloolise uurimise kese” (Dissertationes 35)

Greta Koppel’s dissertation deals with the problems of art research, reflecting the author’s years of research and curating work in the museum. Works of art as museum objects have had a central place in this work.

The doctoral thesis was based on the premise that a multifaceted study based on close observation of works of art, which takes into account the work as a whole – its material as well as its spiritual side – allows obtaining valuable information for a broader analysis of the work itself as well as more general historical and cultural phenomena. In the case of ancient art, such research includes connoisseurship as an important component. The doctoral thesis introduces the concept of connoisseurship, which so far is little known as a professional term in Estonian, provides an overview of the long history of connoisseurship as a competence of art appreciation, considers the closely interwoven relations between contemporary connoisseurship and technical art history, introduces the specifics of the research method, explains why this skill is still indispensable in identifying the author of a work of art and why value it even if we are not interested in the question of the author of the work of art. It also explains how the critical analysis of the connoisseurship method helps to understand the special nature of art history as a spiritual science.

The treatment of the subject of connoisseurship is followed by three research cases that illustrate the importance of connoisseurship as an object-oriented, multifaceted close observation of a work of art and are related to the author’s curatorial work at the Estonian Art Museum. The first of them opens up the problem of reconstructing the work of the international painter Michel Sittow (c. 1469–1525) from Tallinn, the second case focuses on the 16th-century Dutch Boschian art, and the last case, the study of the collection of Johannes Mikkel (1907–2006), examines the value of the collection as a historical document.

Supervisor: Prof. Krista Kodres
Preliminary reviewers: Dr. Jaanika Anderson (Tartu University Museum), Dr. Anu Mänd (Tallinn University)
Opponent: Dr. Anu Mänd (Tallinn University)

Language editor: Kaidi Saavan
English translation: Juta Ristsoo
Proofreading for the English text: Richard Adang
Design and layout: Tuuli Aule

Dissertations Academiae Artium Estoniae 35
367 pages, in Estonian
Estonian Academy of Arts, 2021

ISBN 978-9916-619-45-2

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Posted by Neeme Lopp