Space-composition is for Berenson the ability to paint so that the viewer gains a "sense of space not as a void…but as something very positive and definite, able to confirm our consciousness of being, to heighten our feeling of vitality." Art must be "life-enhancing. "So invincible is the task of learning to see for oneself, that all except a few men of genius—with a gift for seeing—have to be taught how to see." Newness is a very minor consideration in the world of art…[where] it is intrinsic quality only that counts." For Berenson mediocrity was unredeemable, and the mediocre when encouraged "to seek for originality…are only capable of anarchy."

— art historian Bernard Berenson  

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