Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Amsterdam

Workshop 14-3: The Catalogue as Art Historical Genre

The Case of the Berenson Collection at I Tatti

The CMRSA invites you to participate in this workshop, organised by the Center of Medieval and Renaissance Studies Amsterdam, with prominent speakers such as Machtelt Brüggen Israëls, Carl Brandon Strehlke, Frits Scholten and Henk van Os.

The Bernard and Mary Benenson Collection of European Paintings at I Tatti

The recent publication of The Bernard and Mary Berenson Collection of European Paintings at I Tatti raises questions about the genre of the collection catalogue, its criteria, its past, and its future. The CMRSA has invited experts of the Rijksmuseum and the University of Amsterdam to engage in that discussion with the editors of the catalogue, Carl Brandon Strehlke and Machtelt Brüggen Israëls. The workshop highlights the importance of the intellectual history of the Berensons and focuses on new insights in the history of their paintings and comparable cases at the Rijksmuseum.

When in early 1901 Bernard and Mary Berenson, the newlyweds who had been longtime companions, moved to I Tatti, now the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, they proudly installed the first fruits of their collecting: Domenico Veneziano, Sassetta, and Giambono. The gathering soon expanded to include other great Renaissance masters like Giotto, Pietro Lorenzetti, and Signorelli. The catalogue of the collection, written by an international team of scholars, takes full advantage of new art historical and archival research, as well as technical studies of each work conducted in collaboration with the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence. It is a remarkable window into the Berensons’ primary intellectual concerns, the early world of connoisseurship in which they were principal players, and the importance of that practice in the development of twentieth-century art history and criticism.


12.15   Registration, coffee/tea

13.00   Hugo van der Velden (University of Amsterdam)


13.15   Henk van Os (University of Amsterdam)

A Basic Ground Level Book

13.45   Carl Brandon Strehlke (Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Introducing Mary and Bernard Berenson

14.15   Tea

14.45   Bieke van der Mark (Rijksmuseum)

Two Bronze Lions at the Rijksmuseum: New Insights into their Original Function

15.15   Frits Scholten (Rijksmuseum)

Frozen Movement: Origin, Function, and Meaning of a Sixteenth-Century Bronze Statuette

15.45   Machtelt Brüggen Israëls (University of Amsterdam)

Cataloguing at I Tatti: The Case of the Toscanelli Altarpiece

16.15   Duncan Bull (Rijksmuseum)


17.00   Finis


Research Master students

Research Master students can participate (1 ECT) by submitting a review of 1000 words of one of the catalogue entries on either Domenico Veneziano, Gentile da Fabriano, Giambono, Giotto, Pietro Lorenzetti, Lippo and Tederigo Memmi, Sassetta, or Luca Signorelli. They should enroll before 1 March 2016 and submit their review by 11 March to The review should engage with the genre and future of collection catalogues. It should also engage with the visions expressed in the catalogue’s introductory essays. The reviews will be integrated into the discussions in the workshop.


Universiteitsbibliotheek, Doelenzaal, Singel 425 Amsterdam


Click on the link below for online submission. Please register as soon as possible, as the number of seats is limited.

Published by  CMSA

1 March 2016