Morellian Analysis

Introduction

Morellian analysis is named for Giovanni Morelli (1816-1891). Morelli was trained as a physician,  He approached art authentication and forgery as a doctor would, by examining physical symptoms. With a work of art, he examined details such as the eye, ear, nose, mouth. Aggregated, medical symptoms form a diagnosis; comparable features form a recognizable style.  

Examples

For example, the comparison of a new portrait by George Caleb Bingham, Robert Patterson Clark, with Bingham portraits from the same time period: 

Eyes

George Caleb Bingham, Robert Patterson Clark, 1834-1835 (Detail - Eyes)

George Caleb Bingham, Robert Patterson Clark, 1834-1835
(Detail – Eyes)

George Caleb Bingham, Shubael Allen, 1835 (Detail-Eyes)

George Caleb Bingham, Shubael Allen, 1835
(Detail-Eyes)

George Caleb Bingham, Dr. Anthony Wayne Rollins, 1835 (Detail - Eyes)

George Caleb Bingham, Dr. Anthony Wayne Rollins, 1835
(Detail – Eyes)

Nose

George Caleb Bingham, Robert Patterson Clark, 1834-1835 (Nose)

George Caleb Bingham, Robert Patterson Clark, 1834-1835
(Detail – Nose)

George Caleb Bingham, Shubael Allen, 1835 (Detail - Nose)

George Caleb Bingham, Shubael Allen, 1835
(Detail – Nose)

George Caleb Bingham, Dr. Anthony Wayne Rollins, 1835 (Detail - Nose)

George Caleb Bingham, Dr. Anthony Wayne Rollins, 1835
(Detail – Nose)

Mouth

George Caleb Bingham, Robert Patterson Clark, 1834-1835 (Detail - Mouth and Chin)

George Caleb Bingham, Robert Patterson Clark, 1834-1835
(Detail – Mouth and Chin)

George Caleb Bingham, Shubael Allen, 1835 (Detal - Mouth and Chin)i

George Caleb Bingham, Shubael Allen, 1835
(Detal – Mouth and Chin)i

George Caleb Bingham, Dr. Anthony Wayne Rollins, 1835 (Detail - Mouth and Chin)

George Caleb Bingham, Dr. Anthony Wayne Rollins, 1835
(Detail – Mouth and Chin)

 

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