The Letters of Bernard Berenson and Isabella Stewart Gardner, 1887-1924: With Correspondence by Mary Berenson

Bernard Berenson, Author, Rollin Van N. Hadley, Editor Northeastern University Press $75 (800p) ISBN 978-0-930350-89-5
""Publishers are so stupid and have to be told the simplest things dozens of times.'' ``I find my resonance to beauty increasing, at a rate to make up for everything.'' Is this the wit and profundity of Samuel Johnson? No, these are comments from the letters of art connoisseur Berenson to Isabella Gardner, a wealthy Bostonian collector. Their correspondence is a delightful surprise. It records their transatlantic friendship as Berenson, ensconced in his Italian villa, cajoled and persuaded Gardner to buy Old Masters paintings which would eventually fill the Gardner Museum. Though her letters are superficial, his offer revealing commentary on his love of his chosen profession, his homesickness for New England and his preference for the company of women. Hadley, in his introduction, maintains that although Berenson sometimes revised his attributions, he never changed his opinions in order to influence a client or dealer. (October 15)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1987
Release date: 10/01/1987
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