Study Day: The Berensons and Spain


Friday, March 20, 2015, 2:30pm to 6:00pm


Gould Hall

In honor of the 150th birthday of Bernard Berenson (1865-1959), papers presented by Ilaria Della Monica, Juan Luis González García, and Kathryn L. Brush


Lino Pertile, Introduction       Berensons_In_Spain

Ilaria Della Monica (Villa I Tatti, Florence), Bernard e Mary Berenson, Viaggiatori in Spagna
La relazione trae argomento dal viaggio in Spagna di Bernard e Mary Berenson, avvenuto nel 1919. Alcune carte scritte da Mary, di recente rinvenute all’interno dell’archivio, permettono di seguire l’itinerario dell’intero viaggio, da Barcellona a San Sebastian, in senso antiorario. In esse c’è il ricordo di città e paesi, monumenti, dipinti, oggetti d’arte e personaggi incontrati.


Juan Luis González García (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), 'Nosing about for scraps of picturesque remains': Berenson among the Spanish Primitives
New archival evidence offers an insight into Berenson's ‘Hispanic’ attitudes and questions his acclaimed disdain for non-Italian art. It reveals instead his interest in Prehistoric Iberia, Medieval and Islamic architecture and Catalan Romanesque painting, as well as the Spanish Renaissance. Moreover, he maintained lifelong friendships with renowned Spanish politicians and shared a mutual respect with Spanish art historians. This paper explores Berenson’s ties to Spain and contextualizes them with a discussion of the impact he had on Spanish museology, art history and connoisseurship.

Kathryn L. Brush (University of Western Ontario), Berenson, Arthur Kingsley Porter, and the Rediscovery of Romanesque Spain
This paper explores and contextualizes Berenson’s extended engagement with Spanish Romanesque sculpture. It will be argued that this “absorbing new interest,” which surfaced in a significant way during Berenson's journey to the Iberian Peninsula in 1919, was provoked by his friendship with the American medievalist Arthur Kingsley Porter. 


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