A cold grey Sunday in downtown #Boston meant checking out museums, the #marathon expo and the Italian district. Highlights included the #gardnermuseum but not the accidental visit to the christian science exhibit nearby
#AMuseumADay | @artsmia | Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland, "Portrait of Olive Craster", 1762, oil on canvas, 72.4 x 60.1 cm.
I was browsing the museum's collection page after specifically entering "portrait of a woman" in the search bar. Then this work caught my eye and I was like: 'is that a squirrel? Yes it is! Let's pick this one.'
The background is completely undefined, abstract even. It does not distract the viewer, and thus enhances the presence of Olive Craster who commands our attention. She looks at us confidently, well aware of her readily apparent wealth and social status as member of a distinguished family. Together with her husband she extensively travelled through France and Italy, and purchased luxury goods and accessories as well as clothing. She kept detailed notes of everything, which reminds me of the story of Isabella Steward Gardner (@gardnermuseum)!
The squirrel, occupied with eating a small nut, has a little collar around its neck with a chain attached to it. It probably acts as one of many examples of fashionable items that a lady like Olive could afford.
The artist, Nathaniel, aspired to be a history painter, but became most succesful in portraiture. He spent some time in Italy and was co-founder of the Royal Academy (@royalacademyarts). From the late 1770s onward, after inheriting a substantial amount of money, he gradually turned away from a life of painting.
The lovely nasturtium vines at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, as seen from the inside. Every year I try to recreate this on a very small scale in the window boxes on my balcony, but every time they get to a good point, I lose them to bugs or squirrels. They do great when they’re planted immediately below in the ground though.
I finally visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum to see the courtyard garden nasturtiums, which are my favorite flowers. They start growing the long trailing vines in the greenhouse the previous June, and they hang from the windows into the courtyard.
Did you know about theft at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum?
In the early morning hours of March 18, 1990, a pair of thieves disguised as police officers entered the Gardner Museum and stole 13 works of art by world-renowned artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Manet, and Degas. The works, including Rembrandt’s Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee (his only known seascape) and Vermeer’s The Concert, are worth more than $500 million. This remains the biggest unsolved art theft in world history.
#fyi , @gardnermuseum has free admission for everyone name Isabella ( ID required) and if you are visiting on your birthday 🎂 😊🍓🥂
Modelled on a Venetian palazzo, this calming garden at the @gardnermuseum in Boston, features references to Roman, Byzantine, Gothic and Renaissance architecture - plus, even the plants are symmetrical!
Pic by @seanddungan