The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s art collection blends history and culture to aesthetically define a single individual: Isabella Stewart Gardner. From the “Mosaic Floor: Medusa” of the inner courtyard, to “The Coronation of Hebe” (Paolo Veronese) on the ceiling of the third-floor Veronese Room, Gardner determined every inch of both the interior and exterior of the structure housing her personal collection of masterpieces. This museum was specifically designed to resemble a 15th-century Venetian palazzo, inspired from the city that captured Gardner’s heart and ultimate vision of her legacy (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum). Assisted by Renaissance-revival architect, Willard T. Sears, the palazzo-like structure was realized in its full glory, albeit Renaissance ornamentation had no logical place in early 20th-century Boston, Massachusetts. However, Isabella Stewart Gardner’s fascination with the Renaissance was not solely because the works and buildings were visually pleasing. A palazzo, for a wealthy family, was a lasting symbol of status. Gardner’s choice to create a museum inspired by this Renaissance structure demonstrates how this Renaissance mindset can be translated into her modern context when crafting her own legacy.
The exterior of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is drastically more modest than the interior. In the same fashion as the traditional palazzos of the Renaissance, the masonry is smooth and understated. The flat roof resembles that of the Palazzo