“In the end we want another celebrity attribution like this one because we want to get things straight. History tries to make sense out of chaos, toward which the world inevitably inclines. Art historians create hierarchies, categories and movements; they attribute causes and effects to conjure an appearance of logic. Attributing a picture to a household deity like Bruegel or Michelangelo affirms our sense of control, our ability to get a grip on our affairs, at least for the moment. We take comfort in mooring some grimy, forgotten canvas, another example of life’s flotsam and, implicitly, of our own fate, to one of the pillars of art history.” – Via the NYTimes
Maybe that’s the reason; we’re so excited by the discovery of a masterpiece we forget we never thought it was great before. Maybe its the thrill of discovery. But I think we could all just be a tad foolish.