A Curator at the Louvre: Charles Coypel and the Royal Collections
Bell, Esther, "A Curator at the Louvre: Charles Coypel and the Royal Collections", Journal 18, 2, 2016
In his Idée du peintre parfait (1699), Roger de Piles declared that one must possess three abilities in order to truly understand the art of painting: the ability to determine what is good and bad, the ability to make a correct attribution, and the ability to distinguish an original composition from a copy. As he mused on the perils of connoisseurship, and particularly those concerning attribution, he wrote:
When a Curieux has well considered the different pictures of a master, and has formed a complete idea about his style, he may then determine the author of a picture, without being condemned for his reasons; though a worthy connoisseur who possesses talent, through his reflections and his long term studies, may occasionally mistake the name of an author. . . he will, at least, never be deceived about the accuracy and solidity of his sentiments.