It is very difficult to prove today that a painting done two : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# It is very difficult to prove today that a painting done two

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Senior Manager
Joined: 10 Mar 2008
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It is very difficult to prove today that a painting done two [#permalink]

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24 Jul 2008, 14:55
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It is very difficult to prove today that a painting done two or three hundred years ago, especially one without a signature or with a questionably authentic signature, is indubitably the work of this or that particular artist. This fact gives the traditional attribution of a disputed painting special weight, since that attribution carries the presumption of historical continuity. Consequently, an art historian arguing for a deattribution will generally convince other art historians only if he or she can persuasively argue for a specific reattribution.
Which one of the following, if true, most strongly supports the position that the traditional attribution of a disputed painting should not have special weight?
(A) Art dealers have always been led by economic self-interest to attribute any unsigned paintings of merit to recognized masters rather than to obscure artists.
(B) When a painting is originally created, there are invariably at least some eyewitnesses who see the artist at work, and thus questions of correct attribution cannot arise at that time.
(C) There are not always clearly discernible differences between the occasional inferior work produced by a master and the very best work produced by a lesser talent.
(D) Attribution can shape perception inasmuch as certain features that would count as marks of greatness in a master’s work would be counted as signs of inferior artistry if a work were attributed to a minor artist.
(E) Even though some masters had specialists assist them with certain detail work, such as depicting lace, the resulting works are properly attributed to the masters alone.
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24 Jul 2008, 15:40
vksunder wrote:
It is very difficult to prove today that a painting done two or three hundred years ago, especially one without a signature or with a questionably authentic signature, is indubitably the work of this or that particular artist. This fact gives the traditional attribution of a disputed painting special weight, since that attribution carries the presumption of historical continuity. Consequently, an art historian arguing for a deattribution will generally convince other art historians only if he or she can persuasively argue for a specific reattribution.
Which one of the following, if true, most strongly supports the position that the traditional attribution of a disputed painting should not have special weight?
(A) Art dealers have always been led by economic self-interest to attribute any unsigned paintings of merit to recognized masters rather than to obscure artists.
(B) When a painting is originally created, there are invariably at least some eyewitnesses who see the artist at work, and thus questions of correct attribution cannot arise at that time.
(C) There are not always clearly discernible differences between the occasional inferior work produced by a master and the very best work produced by a lesser talent.
(D) Attribution can shape perception inasmuch as certain features that would count as marks of greatness in a master’s work would be counted as signs of inferior artistry if a work were attributed to a minor artist.
(E) Even though some masters had specialists assist them with certain detail work, such as depicting lace, the resulting works are properly attributed to the masters alone.

B because "It is very difficult to prove today that a painting ... is indubitably the work of this or that particular artist. This fact gives the traditional attribution of a disputed painting special weight". If a painting can be accurately attributed when the painting is created and then historicans can find evidence of eyewitnesses -> a painting can be attributed without traditional atrribution.
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24 Jul 2008, 17:07
A very tough question. Anyways will give a try:

The passage says since incorrect attribution causes special weight to a painting it should not be there.

A: A valid choice which says since Art dealers benefit from incorrect attribution to famous painters it should not be allowed. My second choice.

B: This says that since every painting has an eye witness none of the painting can be incorrectly attributed. Which is wrong as some paintings many not have any eye witness.

C: irrelevant

D: This sounds correct as it says that incorrect attribution causes a perception and hence a special weight it should not be allowed.

E: Irrelevant

IMO D
Re: CR: painting -   [#permalink] 24 Jul 2008, 17:07
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