Luisa Vertova


connoisseur. art historian. advisor.

Country of origin



Luisa Vertova (1921-) studied art history and archaeology at Florence university in the early 1940s. After graduation, she worked as translator, contributor and editor. At the end of the war, through mutual friends, Vertova met Bernard Berenson who invited her to work with him as assistant arranging also his important photographic collection kept in Settignano, Villa I Tatti. She worked alongside Nicky Mariano and Berenson till his death in 1959, even after marrying the art historian Benedict Nicolson (1914-1978) and moving to London. By the early 1960s, after her divorce from Nicolson, she started working as Old Master Paintings and Drawings Specialist at Christie’s International auction house. Between early 1960s and mid-1980s she has been adviser for most auctions organized by Christie’s italian offices in Milan, Florence, Rome. In addition to personal research interests, such as studies on Lombard painters in Seventeenth Century, she undertook important projects as editor of several editions of Berenson’s writings and Caravaggism in Europe by Nicolson. In later years, the scholar returned to Florence where she still lives.

historian's relations

Florence Rome Bernard Berenson Milan Villa I Tatti London Lombardy Settignano

Main works

Berenson, B., Vertova, L., & Mariano, N. (1961). I disegni dei pittori fiorentini. Milano: Electa

Vertova, L. (1975). Bernardino Licinio. In G. A. Dell'Acqua (Ed.), I pittori bergamaschi dal XIII al XIX secolo (3.1, pp. 373-467). Bergamo: Bolis

Vertova, L. (1976). Giulio Licinio. In G. A. Dell'Acqua (Ed.), I pittori bergamaschi dal XIII al XIX secolo (3. 2.: pp. 515-589). Bergamo: Bolis

Vertova, L. (1983). Carlo Ceresa: un pittore bergamasco nel '600. Bergamo: Azienda autonoma di turismo

Vertova, L. (1984). Carlo Ceresa : tutte le opere, in G. A. Dell'Acqua & P. Zampetti (Eds.), I pittori bergamaschi: dal XIII al XIX secolo (4.2, pp. 403-757). Bergamo: Bolis

Nicolson, B., & Vertova, L. (1989). Caravaggism in Europe. Torino: Allemandi

About the scholar

Vertova, L. (1991). Luisa Vertova. Firenze: Pitti arte e libri

Vertova, L. (2001). Luisa Vertova. In Gregori, M. (2001). Venti modi di essere Zeri (pp. 119-127). Torino: U. Allemandi

Nicolson, V. (2016). Have you been good?: A memoir. London: Granta Books

Nicolson, V. (2017). The truth game: A memoir. London: Quartet Books


Archivio Luisa Vertova