The Gothic Room was closed to the public during Isabella Stewart Gardner’s lifetime. With a mixture of devotional and domestic objects, it served as a private refuge for Isabella and a few very close friends. A far cry from the Italian palazzo–like aesthetic she employed in the Raphael Room or Titian Room, here she turned to another style near to her heart: the Gothic. England and its many Gothic cathedrals, painstakingly recorded in her travel albums, provided the idea for this space. Setting the tone for this church-inspired interior, John Singer Sargent re-imagined Isabella as a modern-day Madonna in the life-size portrait that gazes out from the southwest corner of the room.