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A newly discovered painting on wooden panel by Michelangelo

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A newly discovered painting on wooden panel by Michelangelo

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A newly discovered painting on wooden panel by Michelangelo must have been completed after 1507 but before 1509. It cannot have been painted earlier than 1507 because one of its central figures carries a coin that was not minted until that year. It cannot have been painted after 1509 because it contains a pigment that Michelangelo is known to have abandoned when a cheaper alternative became available in that year.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?


A) No stocks of the abandoned pigment existed after 1509.
B) Michelangelo did not work on the painting over the course of several years.
C) The coin depicted in the painting was known to general public in 1507.
D) The wooden panel on which the painting was executed cannot be tested accurately for age.
E) Michelangelo's painting style did not change between 1507 and 1509.

What's the best approach to determine the answer? Can any experts help?

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ardz24 wrote:
A newly discovered painting on wooden panel by Michelangelo must have been completed after 1507 but before 1509. It cannot have been painted earlier than 1507 because one of its central figures carries a coin that was not minted until that year. It cannot have been painted after 1509 because it contains a pigment that Michelangelo is known to have abandoned when a cheaper alternative became available in that year.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?


A) No stocks of the abandoned pigment existed after 1509.
B) Michelangelo did not work on the painting over the course of several years.
C) The coin depicted in the painting was known to general public in 1507.
D) The wooden panel on which the painting was executed cannot be tested accurately for age.
E) Michelangelo's painting style did not change between 1507 and 1509.

What's the best approach to determine the answer? Can any experts help?
Conclusion: the Michelangelo painting in question was completed between 1507 and 1509
Premise: It contains a coin minted in 1507. It contains pigment M. didn't use after 1509.

Try negation: the correct answer, when negated, will undermine the argument.

B negated: Michelangelo DID work on the painting over the course of several years. If this is true, the argument falls apart. It's possible, he began the painting in, say, 1503, added the coin in 1507, and then stopped using one of his pigments in 1509. We no longer have any notion of when he might have finished the work. Because B, when negated, undermines the argument, we know it's the correct answer.

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