Return from the Lido
Ralph Wormeley Curtis, American, 1854-1922
Ralph Curtis was the son of Daniel and Arianna Curtis, Bostonians who moved permanently to Venice in the late 1870s. After graduating from Harvard (where he was one of the founders of the Lampoon), Curtis studied in Paris at the studio of Carolus-Duran. There he met John Singer Sargent, a distant relative, who became a good friend and sometime painting companion. Curtis met Isabella Stewart Gardner in 1884, when the Gardners spent five weeks in Venice. Thereafter, they met and corresponded frequently. Curtis found works of art for Mrs. Gardner, wrote about developments in the art world, and kept her up-to-date on “gondola gossip” in Venice.
Ralph Curtis’s painting of a gondola gliding through Venice must have held special meaning for Mrs. Gardner. Like the woman depicted, she and Curtis spent many hours in each other’s company floating through the canals. The slight touch of purple through the sky and in the water, along with the mysterious faces of the woman and her gondolier, adds the perfect tone of languid, exotic atmosphere to the scene.
Now Offering In-Store Pickup
We have reopened to the public and we can’t wait to see you! We are pleased to offer in-store pickup as a way for you to get your order quickly when you come to visit us. We have greatly limited our capacity in the store, which may incur a wait time. If you are coming to the Museum, we encourage you to place your order with us before your visit so we can have it ready right away for you. Just select "pickup" as your delivery method at checkout and we will notify you when your order is ready.