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Bernard Berenson

Overview

Critic, arbiter of taste, renowned authority on Renaissance painting and oracle to millionaire art collectors, Bernard Berenson was the most formidable presence in the art world for more than thirty years. Four decades of his life are unfolded in this compelling book.
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Overview

Critic, arbiter of taste, renowned authority on Renaissance painting and oracle to millionaire art collectors, Bernard Berenson was the most formidable presence in the art world for more than thirty years. Four decades of his life are unfolded in this compelling book.
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Editorial Reviews

Saturday Review
A remarkably absorbing and lucid biography of Berenson's early career. The book does full justice to the verve and excitement of Berenson's connoisseurship.
Chronicle Review
A portrait replete with the complex ironies created in the conflicts between vaulting idealism and the harsh necessities of living well...[It] makes clear the tortuous conflicts of his life, and stands as a splendid monument to its author's understanding of the human quandaries of his extraordinary subject and his equally extraordinary wife.
Nation
Berenson has an ideal biographer in Samuels. Impeccable in method, strong in narrative skill, Samuels scants nothing as to place, period or person, and is no less remarkable for inwardness, depth and charity of feeling.
Christian Science Monitor
This is a life filled with extraordinary people...Collectively they made the 1890s outrageously exciting, and the Berensons, in their relentless quest for recognition and security, serve as the perfect mirror. Samuels turns the mirror deftly, through Boston, London, Florence, Oxford, Vienna, and Chicago, pausing briefly in the boudoir, lingering in the golden hills of Tuscany, relentlessly reflecting the social scene...Samuels brilliantly captures it all.
Library Journal
Impelled by the vastness of his chief source (letters, diaries, personal and business items of the Berenson Archive at I Tatti) the author has provided a fitting companion to his Bernard Berenson: the making of a connoisseur ( LJ 6/1/79). He has also set the record straight, making it clear that both the legend and the private reality are true. In this he has been ably assisted by his wife, co-editor of Mary Berenson: a self-portrait from her diaries and letters . The present volume, starting with 1904, depicts the latter 55 years of the life of ``B.B.'' Already a Pulitzer Prize winner for his biography on Henry Adams, Samuels devoted over 20 years to exploring every facet of the well-documented existence of ``the world's foremost connoisseur of Italian Renaissance art.'' Libraries owning the first volume will decidedly want to acquire the concluding oneas exceptional writing and definitive biography of a world-class figure.Gloria K. Rensch, formerly with Vigo Cty. P.L., Terre Haute, Ind.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674067776
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/1981
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 516
  • Product dimensions: 6.69 (w) x 9.61 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Ernest Samuels is Franklyn Bliss Snyder Professor of English, Emeritus, Northwestern University and winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Biography.
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Table of Contents

Preface

Acknowledgments

A Lithuanian Childhood

Dreamer in Minot Street

A Harvard Aesthete

Literary Debut

Cities of a Dream

Seedtime of Art

Beyond the Alps

Disciple of Morelli

The Smiths of Friday's Hill

The Path to Monte Oliveto

Master and Errant Pupil

Trial of the Scholar-Aesthete

Talent in Harness

New Vistas at Home and Abroad

Secrets of the Artistic Personality

Heretic at the New Gallery

The Tactile Imagination

Only the Greatest in the World

The Critical Gantlet

The "Wizard of Quick Wits"

A Duel with Vernon Lee

A Tangled Web

A Man of Affairs

"Room for Berenson"

A Union of "Minds and Feelings"

A Victorian Husband

The Study and Criticism of Italian Art

The Wars of the Burlington

Mission to the New World

A New Beginning

Selected Bibliography

Notes

Index

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