This horizontal painting depicts a theatrical set of a country street scene. The setting is picturesque, with closeups of charming houses and flowers. The house to our left is substantial, with multiple gable roofs and three chimneys. The stucco on the outer walls is blue-toned, and the roof tiles are red. Wood beams in crisscross patterns adorn the window areas. In the foreground, in front of the double door, is a vining plant with white flowers. To our left of this plant, a small vase of colorful flowers sits on a stone wall. On the street side of the house are two hanging guild posts, one a wheel and the other an animal. Across the narrow street is another substantial house set off by a low stone wall. On the entrance gate post is a stone statue of a figure holding a long stick. This house also has blue walls, red tiles on the roof, and crossed wooden beams around its windows. Wood carvings adorn the upper window area. Green shrubs adorn the garden and colorful flower boxes appear on the house and the stone wall. Beyond this home, to our right, we can see the red tile rooftops of several small buildings. A tall stucco building is in the midground to our right. At midground, in the center, is a round building, resembling a silo, with a red tile roof and a cross at the top. Beyond these buildings are rolling hills and a solid gray sky.
One of Isabella Stewart Gardner’s musical loves was the German composer Richard Wagner, best known for his monumental operas. The most visible token of Isabella’s love for Wagner in the Museum is this richly detailed set design for one of Wagner’s operas--"Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg." The colorful drawing was a gift from Isabella’s friend Joseph Urban, a renowned architect and set designer who designed over 50 productions for the Metropolitan Opera and served as the art director of the Boston Opera Company. Urban gave this drawing to Isabella for Christmas in 1914, presumably after she saw and loved the performance produced by the Boston Opera House earlier that year.