Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Venetian Palace Inside Boston

I arrive to the Isabella Stewart  Gardner Museum without many expectation, not ready to be surprised in the way I was. Accompanied by some friends walking around by the beautiful parks that surround it and by the suggestion of one of them we decided to went in. As we enter a very nice lady was ready to welcome us.  While walking through an enclosed, transparent corridor guarded by a grove of trees you get from the new wing to the palace where you enter to an entire museum, that is a work of art itself.

Isabella Stewart disliked the cold, mausoleum-like spaces of most museums. As a result, she designed this museum where the paintings, murals, tapestry in the wall, even the door frame you just walked through, is art. Each piece was meticulously selected and placed within the structure of this building. The building itself was designed around her collection, as opposed to many museums which simply place a painting on an available wall.

With an intimate collection of decorative and fine art housed in a 15th century Venetian style palace reflect the lush style of Isabella,  accompanied with the new extract design by Renzo Piano which preserves the 108 year old palace built by Isabella Stewart.  The museum also provides personal glimpses into the sensibilities and personality of Isabella Stewart testaments to her personal life such as tragedies and triumphs.

The museum hold its paintings like it would hold them in a house with no particular or obvious arrangement where unknown artist can coexist with the most recognized ones , while their paintings are hung side by side.

All the paintings where acquired in a remarkable short space of time. Isabella after losing his son and husband dedicated her time to make this museum, she attended the driving of the first pile and visited the construction site regularly, supervising every detail of the building. She climbed ladders to show painters how she wanted the interior courtyard and determined the placement of each architectural element. The building was completed in November 1901 and she spent the next year carefully installing her collection, the personal character of the arrangements and the artistic display of the enchanting courtyard was what created the atmosphere that distinguishes the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Here you can feel like a witness of her late life and her trips for Europe. The mixed of and amazing collection fill with works of the most recognized artist in the world such as Titian, Rembrandt, Botticelli, Tintoretto,  Manet, Degas, are sitting with the rest of unique pieces in the collection.  

On your way out you can find a fine modern terrace, a perfect place to eat and sit with a book. Art lovers should definitely visit the museum that instead of fencing you find trees, open lawn and a working greenhouse. This museum in some points can hit the unrealistic and absurd ruled by the anachronistic follies but its cultural wealth, makes it a treasure hidden in Boston.

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