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Chasing beauty: the life of Isabella Stewart Gardner

ISBN: 9781328515759
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Us Mariner (HEDS)
Origin: US
Release Date: July, 2024

Book Details

Isabella Stewart Gardner’s museum, with its plain exterior enfolding an astonishing four-story Italian palazzo, rose from Boston’s Fens at the turn of the twentieth century. Its treasures encompassed not only masterwork paintings but tapestries, rare books, prints, porcelains, and fine furniture-all in evocative, intimately personal arrangements. An extraordinary achievement of storytelling and scholarship, Chasing Beauty provides compelling insight into the multilayered self-portrait encoded in the museum’s objects and rooms-and delivers the absorbing story of a life every bit as dazzling and haunting. Born in 1840 to a privileged New York family, Isabella Stewart married Boston Brahmin Jack Gardner as she turned twenty. She was misunderstood by Boston’s insular society and suffered the death of her only child, a beloved boy, not yet two years old. But in time came friendships, glittering and bohemian; awe-inspiring world travels; and collecting beautiful things with a keen eye and competitive pace-all these were balm for loss. Henry James and John Singer Sargent-whose portrait of Isabella was a masterpiece and a scandal-came to recognize her originality. Bernard Berenson, leading connoisseur of the Italian Renaissance, was her art dealer. From award-winning author Natalie Dykstra, Chasing Beauty is the story of the complex and singular woman behind one of the most fascinating museums in the nation and the world-a tale of beauty and loss, grit and American self-invention.