Life, Death & Revelry

The Farnese Sarcophagus—with its glorious images of cavorting satyrs and maenads—is one of the most important works of art in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. For the first time in over 100 years, we have moved this monumental work from its usual location, wedged between columns in the Palace courtyard, into Hostetter Gallery, so that all four sides of it are now visible. This exhibition presents new discoveries by our conservation team about its original colorful appearance and the restoration campaigns it has undergone in the last few centuries.

The exhibition and accompanying catalog trace the object's journey over two millennia from ancient Rome to contemporary Boston, exploring the many ways in which it has inspired generations of artists, collectors, conservators, and viewers since its rediscovery in the early modern era.

Gift at the Gardner presents a collection of gifts celebrating the themes of this momentous exhibition.