Bernard Berenson (in Settignano) to Yashiro

March 4, 1940

Dear Yashiro,

A few days ago your dear letter of Jan. 30 reached me and Mary and Nicky and I all had great pleasure in reading it. Of course we all enjoyed hearing that you remembered us, our rocks and rills and all that we shared together for years. You may recall that at one time I expressed the hope that you might come and help me complete the revision of the Florentine Drawings which you now have received. 

All that is over and past. And so am I. I am nearly 75 and I begin to feel not only an incapacity for a concentrated effort but the doubt that it is worth making. One of my comforts is that I always hoped you would return to your own world and apply our method to its study. So I am truly glad to read that you are “building up the history of Eastern Art slowly but steadily”. Thus far it has been the pray of dealers, dandies, philologers and iconographers. I confess these have almost disgusted me with the subject and I can’t tell you how refreshing I found your protest against these approaches in the lectures you delivered at the Royal Society. I look forward to what you will publish and I want to live long enough to read you.

You assure me you still love Italian painting. How can I doubt! You my dear Yashiro are one of the Freemen of the city of art and for us (I venture to include myself in the number) all art is ONE.  There is no Italian, no European, no Asiatic, no Chinese art, there is art in various climes and regions.  As art what matters is its unity and universality not the illustrative differences. Don’t be too long writing to me. Busy as you are, you can take half an hour once a quarter and communicate with me, and let me know if there is anything I can do for you.  

Affectionate greetings from us all.