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By Cohen Rachel

whilst Gilded Age millionaires desired to purchase Italian Renaissance work, the specialist whose opinion they sought was once Bernard Berenson, together with his great erudition, tremendous 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 sizeable deepest library—which he might finally bequeath to Harvard—without ever suspecting that he had grown up in a bad 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 awesome self-transformation, financed via 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 manner of seeing, provided in his books, codified in his attributions, and institutionalized within the many vital American collections he helped to construct, is going on shaping the yankee realizing of artwork 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 enterprise dealings and how his kinfolk and companions—including his shopper Isabella Stewart Gardner, his lover Belle da Costa Greene, and his pricey good friend Edith Wharton—helped to shape his rules and his legacy. Rachel Cohen explores Berenson’s internal global and unparalleled visible ability whereas additionally illuminating the ancient forces—new capital, the constructing artwork industry, chronic anti-Semitism, and the 2 global wars—that profoundly affected his life.

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Bernard Berenson (Jewish Lives) by Cohen Rachel


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