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When The Art Connoisseur Is a Robot

Popularly, art connoisseurs are portrayed as sophisticados who carry themselves with an aura of mystery, in command of an inner portal to truth that the rest of us inexplicably just don’t possess. Presented with an unassuming Renaissance painting purchased for $1,000 in New Orleans, for instance, one might be stricken with certainty that the painting was authored by no other than Leonardo da Vinci; another attributes hundreds of paintings to Rembrandt and claims that his genius is obvious to the “experienced eye.” The elusive certainty of connoisseurship has always come with raised eyebrows: can you tell a garage sale replica from the real deal, let alone a workshop painting from an Old Master one? Can we trust anyone who claims to know?

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