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December 2013

Bernard Berenson revisited

by Marco Grassi

On the art historian Bernard Berenson's life and influence


Art historian Bernard Berenson (1865–1959) at Villa I Tatti  

An amusing story used to circulate in Florence in the late summer of 1944, a few months before the Allied armies of General Clark pushed the Germans northwards to ultimate defeat. Bernard Berenson, who had been in hiding for over a year, was finally able to walk again along the picturesque country lanes of Settignano that he knew and loved so well. On the first day out, a United States Army vehicle stopped alongside the diminutive, bearded, and impeccably attired gentleman. A G.I. leaned out and, in dreadful pidgin Italian, asked for directions. Mr. Berenson obliged, but naturally in the subtl ...

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Marco Grassi is a private paintings conservator and dealer in New York.


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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 32 December 2013, on page 9

Copyright © 2014 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com

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