Gift Guide

Bernard Berenson


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.
Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Paperback (New Edition)
$40.50 price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (20) from $1.99   
  • New (9) from $30.02   
  • Used (11) from $1.99   
Sending request ...


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.
Read More Show Less

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.
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.
Read More Show Less

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.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents



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



Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)