"Bernard Berenson and the Twentieth Century” by Mary Ann Calo

While Bernard Berenson’s roles as a connoisseur, Renaissance art expert, defender of Western culture, and arbiter of taste extraordinaire are well known, his role as critic and theorist of modern art has until now been little understood. Mary Ann Calo’s new intellectual biography is the first study to place Berenson’s career in the context of modernist art and criticism.
The unequivocal hostility towards modern art Berenson expressed late in life does not adequately represent his views, Calo argues. Tracing his writings over half a century, she examines his transition from an innovative modern critic to a reactionary conservative who used his influence to discredit twentieth-century art and to preserve the notion of culture as aristocratic privilege. Buona lettura!

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