The Berensons

Bernard and Mary Berenson


Visit the online exhibition:
Berenson and Harvard. Bernard and Mary as Students


Bernard Berenson

Butrimonys, Vilna, Lithuania, 1865 - Villa I Tatti, Florence, Italy, 1959

Bernard Berenson (B.B.) was one of the most famous and influential connoisseurs of Italian Renaissance paintings and drawings. Berenson's reputation as an expert was established from his scholarly publications. His first art-historical article, "Vasari in the Light of Recent Publications," appeared in The Nation in April 1893. In 1895 Berenson published Lorenzo Lotto: An Essay in Constructive Art Criticism, a manifesto of his appreciation of Giovanni Morelli's  theory, as well as the essay "The Rudiments of Connoisseurship (A Fragment)," in which Berenson stated his own method. In 1903 Berenson published his most important and substantial work of scholarship, The Drawings of the Florentine Painters.

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Mary Berenson

Germantown, Pennsylvania, 1864 – Villa I Tatti, Florence, Italy, 1945

Mary Berenson, a scholar of Italian Renaissance art, was the wife of Bernard Berenson, whom she often assisted in his research, writing, and buisness affairs. She established herself as an art authority with journal articles and especially a long pamphlet, Guide to the Italian Pictures at Hampton Court: with Short Studies of the Artists, published under the pseudonym Mary Logan in 1894. In the same year she played a major role in the writing of the Venetian Painters of the Renaissance.

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