John Singer Sargent, American, 1856-1925
Images like El Jaleo lean toward the daring, risky, unconventional, dramatic, erotically off-center, and odd. Because nomadic groups were believed to ignore ethical principles and exalted superstition over orthodox religion, they endured oppression in numerous countries during the nineteenth century, but artists and bohemians idealized them as free spirits. Bizet's opera Carmen, first performed in Paris in 1875, scandalized the public with its tale of a proud, lusty Andalusian protagonist torn between an army officer and a toreador.
During his travels in Spain in 1879, Sargent was mulling over a major work of art in which he could express his love of Romani music, dance, and picturesque costumes. On his return to Paris, he set to work on a wide horizontal picture whose proportions simulated the shallow stage space of popular musical establishments. He named the painting El Jaleo to suggest the name of a dance, the jaleo de jerez, while counting on the broader definition of jaleo,which includes ruckus or hubbub. The painting was exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1882 with the more explicit title El Jaleo: Danse des gitanes (Dance of the Gypsies).
Santa Maria della Salute
John Singer Sargent, American, 1856-1925
By depicting the back of Santa Maria della Salute, Sargent renders this iconic Venetian site from an unusual, less formal perspective. The cropped view of fishing boats moored in the Giudecca Canal suggests the spontaneity of a modern snapshot. With its golden sunlight and striking composition, this is one of Sargent’s most brilliant watercolors.33.5 x 51 inches
Self-Portrait, Age 23
Rembrandt van Rijn, 1606-1669
Rembrandt’s self-portraits, made throughout his long career, served many different purposes, and in these explorations of his own face and personality remain elusive in many ways. This is one of his first painted self-portraits, and unlike most of the earlier ones, it is not a study of expression or emotion. Indeed, the face, though beautifully lit with evocative shadows, is almost expressionless. The painting is all about costume: the plumed cap, silk scarf, and jacket suggest that this might be an elegant sitter, perhaps even an historic personage. The painting is large and carefully finished, almost as though it were a demonstration piece. In 1629, Rembrandt had not yet received any portrait commissions, so this work might have been done to show off his talents.
On the other hand, by 1629, the twenty-three-year-old artist had already begun to attract critical attention. Self-portraits were a desirable collectible for sophisticated connoisseurs, especially since Rembrandt here wears a golden chain, which indicates the status or nobility of the painter’s profession, although he had not received any such decoration.
San Giuseppe di Castello
John Singer Sargent, American, 1856-1925
The different shades of the water, the brightness of the light and the dense urban architecture of Venice were elements that fascinated Sargent throughout his life. In this drawing, he turns a rather unspectacular neighborhood into a miraculous metaphor for the romantic appeal of Venice. His passion for the city apparently did not extend to its inhabitants: note, how little interest he showed in depicting the figures on the bridge.
33.5" x 51"
The Dormition and Assumption of the Virgin
Fra Angelico, Italian, about 1400-1455
Fra Angelico’s technical and compositional innovations paved the way for a more modern manner of painting in Florence, and he found favor with important patrons, including two popes. This panel is the third in a set of four reliquaries, or containers for holy relics, depicting episodes from the Virgin’s life.
Nineteenth-century enthusiasts celebrated this Dominican painter “Fra Angelico” (the angelic friar) for the spiritual content and lyrical quality of his work. Most of his paintings in the United States are the surviving fragments of larger works, but this one is nearly intact and was greatly admired in Boston. Gardner’s friend the American painter John La Farge, whose works can be found in the Blue Room, once reminded her that even Robert Langton Douglas, a British art critic and director of the National Gallery of Ireland, praised Gardner’s Fra Angelico in his writings.
John Singer Sargent (American, 1856 -1925), Bus Horses in Jerusalem, 1905
Horses have always fascinated artists. Here, Sargent renders these working horses with elegance and dignity. Less interested in the beauty of one single horse, Sargent chose an angle from which he was able to see the repeating forms of multiple backs. As Sargent stated in a letter to Isabella Stewart Gardner, he was drawn to the romantic appeal of the subject during a trip to the Middle East.33.5 x 51 inches
John Singer Sargent (American, 1856 - 1925), A Tent in the Rockies, about 1916
Sargent began many of his watercolors with careful pencil drawings that laid out the overall composition of each picture. If you look closely you can see traces of pencil in the folds of the tent’s opening. Light and shade effects, however, were rarely indicated through pencil under-drawings. Sargent would leave that to the skill of his brush in mixing colors, giving his watercolors their fresh beauty.
This wall relief depicting satyrs and maenads gathering grapes on one of the most important pieces in the Gardner Museum, the Farnese Sarcophagus.
The scene is brought to life on hand painted cold cast resin and comes from the sarcophagus itself. It was created for the Gardner Museum by Summit Collection Gifts.
18.5 x 8.5 x 1 inches
Comes ready to adorn your wall
Among the collection of Chinese Buddhist sculptures in the Gardner Museum’s Chinese Loggia is the limestone Votive Stele. This notable piece--dating from 543--was purchased by Isabella Stewart Gardner from the Russian art collector Victor Goloubew in July 1914, via Mrs. Gardner’s chief art advisor Bernard Berenson. The front of the stele presents in high relief the Buddha Sakyamuni in the center, whose right hand is held in the “fearless gesture” (abhaya mudra) and his left hand in the “charity gesture” (vara mudra). He is attended by the young disciple Ananda and the old disciple Kasyapa, both with shaven heads and attired in monastic robes. The Buddha is further flanked by the bodhisattva Maitreya to his right, who holds a flask, and the bodhisattva Manjusri to his left. The two bodhisattvas respectively embody Compassion and Wisdom. The iconic ensemble as such, unique in China, gained currency in the early sixth century.The universal salvation advocated by the Lotus Sutra is further dramatized in the scene carved in low relief on the back of the stele, based on the chapter “The Emergence of Many-Treasure Stupa.” The Buddha Sakyamuni, about to enter Nirvana, or the “Great Extinction,” joins Prabhutaratna, the ancient Buddha from the past and distant land, in the latter’s stupa, which hovers in the air. Sakyamuni then transports the entire ensemble witnessing the spectacle into Buddha’s realms.
The Newburyport, Massachusetts-based leather workshop Todder creates durable products infused with passion for quality. Their philosophy is built upon New England’s extreme, ever-changing weather elements and begins with 100% USA vegetable tanned leather.
At the heart of these custom-designed leather notebooks is an artistic collaboration between one of New England’s finest leather workshops and one of the world’s most treasured art museums. This artistically-inspired partnership culminates with the corporate seal of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, designed by Gardner’s friend, prominent Boston artist Sarah de St. Prix Wyman Whitman (1842-1904) in 1900.
The motto of the Museum’s seal, ‘C’est mon plaisir’ – ‘It’s my pleasure’ – is stamped on these crowd-favorite notebooks.
The peppery hallmark of these farm-grown nasturtiums makes such a fun -- and pretty -- foil in this floral jelly. It can be used anywhere a traditional jelly would but we like to think of all the savory places it will shine: brushed over a baked ham or roast pork loin. A dollop on a cornbread muffin would make the most ideal snack.
Stone Hollow Farmstead is a family-run farm that follows sustainable farming practices and celebrates its southern heritage. All of their products are seasonal, artisan, and small batch. They believe in a local farming community: all of the produce is grown by Stone Hollow or by neighbor farmers to ensure your family and tastebuds get the very best.
Ingredients: water, sugar, pectin, nasturtium blossoms, lemon
Cascades of flowering nasturtium vines make their brief—but dramatic—appearance above the Courtyard, celebrating the arrival of spring at the Museum. The annual Hanging Nasturtiums display continues an annual tradition started by Isabella during the week before Easter, marking the return of color to the Fenway.
What better way to relax after a day spent experiencing Mrs. Gardner's Museum than with a delicious nasturtium elixir cocktail inspired by the Courtyard?
This lemon nasturtium handcrafted syrup for cocktails and sodas was created for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
Floral Elixir Co. has been handcrafting all-natural flower syrups for cocktails and sodas since 2009. Floral Elixirs are made from real flowers and botanicals; they have a lightly sweetened citrus balance, jewel-like hues and add a modern twist to all libations.
For home mixologists, cocktail aficionados and floral enthusiasts, Floral Elixirs are perfect for entertaining and celebrations!
8.5 ounces (17 servings)
Handmade in small batches by Floral Elixir Co. in Cleveland, Ohio
Also available in 2 ounce bottle
Printed on a deluxe unbleached 100% cotton flour sack, this tea towel features a 3 color Nasturtium design hand screen on the bottom right side of the towel in orange, dark red, and green water based ink. Perfect for folding in half and hanging on your oven handle. Flour Sack towels are heat set to insure long lasting vibrancy.
This Flour Sack towel has a tight weave and a bit heavier feel then most standard flour sack towels. Hemmed on all four sides, this tea towel includes a hanging loop with the Sprouted Designs logo printed on it in the upper left hand corner of the towel.
All Sprouted Designs products are produced in a smoke and pet free shop. Printed using water based eco-friendly inks that are free of most environmentally damaging chemicals such as PVC, phthalate, heavy metals, azo compounds, nonylphenol and formaldehyde.
Due to the nature of flour sack towels size and shape can vary slightly.
Each flour sack towel is individually hand printed, this may result in some minor variation.
“My garden is riotous, unholy, deliriously glorious!
I wish you were here.” - Isabella Stewart Gardner in a letter to Bernard Berenson dated June 24, 1898
When Isabella Stewart Gardner agreed to sponsor the career of an aspiring young writer named Bernard Berenson, neither dreamed that together they would build one of the country’s most impressive private collections of fine art. Berenson--or B.B., as he signed off on his letters--became Mrs. Gardner’s chief art adviser and her dear friend, as well as America’s leading expert on Italian Renaissance painting.
In her missive to Berenson, Mrs. Gardner referenced the flora growing at the Gardner’s Brookline estate Green Hill, which Jack Gardner inherited from his father in 1884. Here, Mrs. Gardner continued to cultivate her lifelong love of horticulture. The spirit of Mrs. Gardner’s passion for plants blooms perennially in the Courtyard and throughout her Museum.
11 oz. ceramic mug
Dishwasher and microwave safe
With our nasturtium seed packet, anyone can grow the very same variety of flowers that are cultivated for the annual hanging nasturtiums event. Contained in this packet are 30 nasturtium seeds, hand packed in the Museum. Each packet contains instructions for these easy-to-grow seeds.
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum Majus Double Gleam Orange)
USDA Zones: 3 - 10
Height: 60 inches (vining)
Bloom Season: Mid summer through fall
Environment: Full Sun
Deer Resistant: Yes