Titian Room Restoration

I am breathless about the Europa, even yet! I am back here tonight after two days...sitting for hours...thinking and dreaming about her.

— Isabella Stewart Gardner, 1896

The object of Isabella’s affection was her latest acquisition: Titian’s painting The Rape of Europa. Isabella judged the Renaissance masterpiece so important that she named a gallery after its painter. The “Titian Room” remains today one of the grandest spaces in the Museum. Isabella carefully considered every detail of the room, and many of the objects evoke Venice, the Italian city that Isabella and her husband Jack returned to again and again.

Today, we are working to restore all of the elements of this space so that you can experience it as Isabella originally intended.

Titian Room

Learn about how the Gardner Museum is working to restore the Titian Room to Isabella's original vision. Video by Bearwalk. 


A woman cleaning a frame gently.

Painting frames in the Titian Room range from simple to complex, and many will be treated by conservators as part of the room's restoration. Old wax, discolored varnish, and dirt and grime are removed from the frames, while gilding and decorative elements are sometimes restored.


A person restoring an old silver cup.

From paintings to furniture to what Isabella called "bric-a-brac," many objects make up the installations that fill the Gardner Museum's galleries. These objects are examined, cleaned, and sometimes treated or repaired as part of a whole gallery restoration such as the one being done in the Titian Room.


A person holding up a scrap of tapestry on a wall.

Isabella mixed and matched patterned and textured Italian textires to create a rich backdrop for the Titian Room. These fabrics are light-sensitive, and the originals were removed in 1959, with just two fabrics going up in their place. Today the original upholstery is bring recreated from historic photos and original fragments to restore the room to Isabella's vision.


A table and chairs in the Titian room.

Gardner staff are working to restore all of the elements of the Titian Room - literally from floor to ceiling - so that we can experience this space as Isabella originally intended.


Learn More

Learn More

Conserving Titian's Europa

This masterpiece recently underwent its first restoration in 90 years

Creating the Titian Room

How Titian’s masterpiece was given pride of place in Isabella’s museum

Conservation at the Gardner

Conservators do daily battle to preserve objects in the collection