Raphael Room


In 1898, Isabella Stewart Gardner brought the first painting by Raphael to the United States. Named after the celebrated Renaissance painter, this room commemorates his achievements and evokes the moment when Italian artists began looking to ancient Greece and Rome for inspiration. Paintings by 15th and 16th century Italian painters are interspersed with ancient Roman wall paintings, sculptures, and vases. Red fabrics provide the backdrop and set an opulent tone. The heavy wall covering is not cut from a single bolt of damask but is a patchwork of boldly patterned fragments sewn together and stretched across the walls. Chairs upholstered in red, yellow, and green silk chime in at the center of the room. Two massive curtains of velvet hang from iron rods, flanking the Venetian-style fireplace.

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