I love the weird and the bizarre and tonight I stumbled across something bizarre and lovely. I was reading the comments on an article in the New York Times and someone mentioned The Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum of Boston, Massachusetts. I’d never heard of either the woman or her museum so I looked it up.
Isabella sounds like someone who lived life at full throttle. She loved beautiful things and wanted to leave her collection to be enjoyed by everyone so built a replica 15th century Venetian palace and filled it with her treasures. When she died an old woman she left the museum in trust and one of the stipulations was that entrance to the museum was to be free forever for people named Isabella. It’s free for all people under 18 and then it costs $12.00 for the average adult…So…if you’re an Isabella…who loves art…and you’re going to be in Boston, Massachusetts (USA) any time soon…take advantage of your good fortune to have a lovely name and visit Isabella’s museum. It looks amazing! I now have one more reason to visit Boston (I have family connections with the area). To give you a sample, below is a beautiful painting she collected called The Lady in Yellow.
What is she thinking about? Where did she wear that ethereal dress? Did she dance with a beloved beau or watch the man she loved dance with another? She looks resigned to something unpleasant. Have her parents insisted she marry some creepy artistocrat or has she just learned her father lost all his money? Whatever is happening in her head, she appears unconcerned with her finery, surroundings or the man painting her. I suspect she doesn’t care that she’s being immortalised as a masterpiece.