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But those parameters are based on a woefully old-fashioned and dull misunderstanding of what art historians do, and what they look for. Was he arguing against Degas by making sure we saw some reference to his work?The big question is not that Caillebotte (one of the examples given) was influenced by Degas. Why would it be valuable to work with it, to work it otherwise?
In one example from the article, the programme “discovered” similarities between French Impressionist Frederic Bazille’s Studio 9 Rue de la Condamine (1870) and American Norman Rockwell’s Shuffleton’s Barber Shop (1950) into which they thought art historians could look further.
To study art history, we need to know about economics, politics, literature, philosophy, languages, theologies, ideologies while also studying to understand how art thinks.
Art thinks through making, through forms, through materials.
Art history studies cultures, societies, histories, and experiences and how they are given form.
All we get from exercises in comparison and influence are superficial resemblances at which any artist would laugh.