Have any of you also been watching the Netflix documentary series, “This is a robbery”? I did this portrait of Isabella Stewart Gardner, the American philanthropist and art collector, after watching the first episode.
Isabella Stewart Gardner was a fascinating woman who was friends with some of the leading artists and writers of her day, including people like John Sargent, Anders Zorn and James McNeill Whistler. Both Zorn and Sargent painted her. She founded the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, after the death of her husband, as a way to house their ever growing art collection in Boston, Massachusetts. The museum opened in 1903.
But it’s what happened at the Gardner Museum on the night of March 18, 1990 that is the subject of the Netflix series, “This is a robbery!”. It’s been called the world’s biggest art theft, with works taken valued at $500 million. It has not been solved and the works are still missing.
I did this drawing of Stewart Gardner and tried to honour the woman and the style of the time. It is drawn on grey coloured paper using colour pencils, conte and charcoal to replicate the feel of late 1800s.