Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Isabella's Springtime Courtyard

Isabella had the right idea. Her first big soiree' at the Villa in Boston was a cold winter night in 1903. She had turned her home into a public museum. She delighted in the company of interesting people and beautiful objects of art. The Villa was designed around a courtyard. All of the inner windows open onto this courtyard. All of the windows are over-sized and feature tall french doors with balconies. My favorite spot is on the third floor in the south facing wing. I like to stand at the window looking into the courtyard and listen to the sound of water from the fountain below. On Saturday when I visited the smell of Freesia's filled the air. That peppery sweetness mixed with a bit of citrus. MMMM intoxicating. I must have stood in the window for a half hour. The temperature was a warm and blissful 75. Plenty of sunshine was pouring through the glassed in roof and lulling me into a false sense of an early spring! You see on this particular day in Boston, outside it was low 40's with a brisk wind and not so pleasant.
Isabella has created the environment of an Italian Villa. Lovely.

Her museum is filled with art and furniture as well as a large collection of ecclesiastical antiquities (altars, crosses and biblical paintings).She collected these pieces from all over the world. She felt it was important to make sure her collection could be viewed into perpetuity and she properly endowed her museum so that could happen. She was a visionary and lover of beautiful things. I would have loved to have known Isabella she was interesting, fun, outgoing and not afraid of taking life and making it her own. You can learn more about her by visiting her museum in the Back Fens of Boston (near MFA) or log onto Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

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