PRINT April 1979

Bernard Berenson, Twenty Years After

I NEVER KNEW BERNARD BERENSON, but I have sat at his luncheon table, and have had tea in his living room, besides handling his unequalled photographic archive of Italian paintings, using his remarkably diversified library, and admiring and amusing myself with his collection of pictures. I have roamed the gardens and the fields that belong to and surround his villa, I Tatti, on low hills above Florence, and I grew to love the people who served him, the maids and gardeners, the cook; Gino, the chauffeur of the Lancia; Geoffredi, the fattore now in semi-retirement, and his daughter, a trained art historian who superbly administers the fototeca. None of these people turns up in “BB’s” diaries, or hardly. In biographies the authors are more impressed with recording a visit by Harry S. Truman, Edward G. Robinson, Ernest Hemingway, Krishnamurti, or various princes, composers, writers, poets,

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