The role of Giulio Mancini as the father of connoisseurship has been recently questioned on the grounds that Mancini never aimed to discuss the attributions of contemporary works of art. Generally the birth of modern connoisseurship, with figures such as the Richardson brothers, has been linked to the growing art market of the 18th century, and the most important 17th-century forerunners, such as Marco Boschini, acted as dealers as well: all these connoisseurs dealt with the attributions of paintings of the previous centuries. This paper explores the roots of connoisseurship in the topography work of Mancini, author of the first modern artistic guide to Rome. Mancini, studying the early Renaissance frescoes in Rome (Jacopo Ripanda, Pastura, Pinturicchio, Baldassarre Peruzzi), discussed Vasari’s biographies and suggested new attributions with a modern approach that clearly anticipates the method of later connoisseurs.
© 2016 Stefano Pierguidi, published by De Gruyter