When Isabella Stewart Gardner and her husband Jack needed a respite from city life, they visited their Brookline home, called Green Hill. The property boasted lush English, Italian, and Japanese gardens, as well as a greenhouse and conservatory. Recalling the property, Isabella’s friend Grace Schirmer was once moved to write, “I hope you have fled out to your Green Hill far away from the maddening crowd to your beautiful shrubs, flowers and blossoms and that the birds carol joyfully to their beloved mistress and bring sweet melodies and harmonies to serenade you!”
This painting by Andreas Martin Andersen captures the verdant escape that Green Hill’s gardens provided for the Gardners and their visitors. This shaded pergola lined with trees and flowering shrubs would have been a perfect place for Isabella and her guests to take a leisurely stroll, or for her artist friends to be inspired.