Picture the Meaning

Picture the Meaning 1

David Seymour, Magnum Photos

The connoisseurship of premodern art once epitomized by Bernard Berenson is making a comeback.

The art historian and art dealer Bernard Berenson (1865-1959) was the first of an art-world type that's still with us: the big-time, wheeling-and-dealing broker, operating in an international market but always under a faint cloud of suspicion. Berenson was also the last of an old art-world type: the meticulous connoisseur. He discovered hundreds of previously neglected works of Italian Renaissance art, authenticated their authorship and provenance, carefully