Isabella Stewart Gardner
Dennis Miller Bunker
(Garden City, New York, 1861 - 1890, Boston)
Oil on canvas
Dennis Miller Bunker painted Isabella in a gown she wore to the Artists' Festival, a costume ball benefiting the Boston Art Students' Association in April of 1889. Isabella sat on the organizing committee for the evening and the Boston Globe reported that all of the patronesses of the event wore Venetian costumes from the time of Paolo Veronese. Bunker also attended the event dressed as a troubadour carrying a lute. A year later Bunker recalled Isabella in her regal attire, writing to her "I often think of you in Venetian state... do you wear your red and gold dress I wonder—or do your hair à la Tintoretto?" Isabella collected 6 other paintings and drawings by Bunker before he died tragically early at the age of 29.