Attribution

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Attribution

 

establishing the authors of anonymous and pseudonymous scholarly and artistic works or the time and place of their creation (such as, their artistic schools and countries).

In art scholarship attribution is based, for the most part, on an analysis of the stylistic and technical characteristics of the work (the material, the composition, the artist’s individual manner, and so on). In attribution a large role is played by the discovery of the purpose and subject of the work, by using historical and cultural data, archives, and literary sources. In the past attribution was based solely on the empirical knowledge and intuitive conclusions of experts. Since the end of the 19th century attribution has also been based on scientific stylistic analysis and the results of chemical and physical investigations (photomacrography and microphotography, roentgenography, the use of infrared and ultraviolet rays, and so on).

In literary scholarship attribution is one of the oldest problems of textual study (for example, the so-called Homeric problem, which dates back to the ancient period). Attribution is important, for example, in the study of Old Russian literature. This is so because until the 17th century manuscript works were, as a rule, anonymous and were often multilayered compilations. The work of attribution is carried out in three basic areas: the search for documentary and factual proof, the discovery of the ideological and imagina! content of the text, and an analysis of the language and style.

REFERENCES

Friedländer, M. Znatok iskusstva. Edited by B. Vipper. Moscow, 1923. (A translation.)
Restavratsiia i issledovanie khudozhestvennykh pamiatnikov. Moscow, 1955. (A collection.)