Bernard Berenson (Jewish Lives) by Cohen Rachel

By Cohen Rachel

while Gilded Age millionaires desired to purchase Italian Renaissance work, the specialist whose opinion they sought used to be Bernard Berenson, together with his large erudition, exceptional eye, and uncanny ability at attributing work. They visited Berenson at his appealing Villa I Tatti, within the hills outdoors Florence, and walked with him throughout the massive inner most library—which he could ultimately bequeath to Harvard—without ever suspecting that he had grown up in a negative Lithuanian Jewish immigrant kin that had struggled to outlive in Boston at the wages of the father’s paintings as a tin peddler. Berenson’s striking self-transformation, financed by means of the explosion of the Gilded Age artwork marketplace and his mystery partnership with the good artwork broker Joseph Duveen, got here with painful bills: he concealed his origins and felt that he had betrayed his presents as an interpreter of work. however his method of seeing, offered in his books, codified in his attributions, and institutionalized within the many very important American collections he helped to construct, is going on shaping the yank figuring out of paintings today.

This finely drawn portrait of Berenson, the 1st biography dedicated to him in 1 / 4 century, attracts on new archival fabrics that carry out the importance of his mystery company dealings and how his relations and companions—including his shopper Isabella Stewart Gardner, his lover Belle da Costa Greene, and his pricey pal Edith Wharton—helped to shape his principles and his legacy. Rachel Cohen explores Berenson’s internal global and extraordinary visible ability whereas additionally illuminating the ancient forces—new capital, the constructing paintings industry, chronic anti-Semitism, and the 2 international wars—that profoundly affected his life.

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