About the Artwork

Isabella Gardner and John Singer Sargent first met in 1886 in the artist’s studio in London. There Gardner admired Sargent’s daring portrait Madame X (now the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) so much that she commissioned him to paint her likeness. This sketch of Gardner’s head set against a dark background was probably an early preparatory drawing for the oil portrait which Sargent painted from December 1887 to January 1888. Gardner inscribed the drawing with Sargent’s name and the date, most likely recording when she received the sympathetic portrait from him as a gift.

Source: Oliver Tostmann and Anne-Marie Eze, The Inscrutable Eye: Watercolors by John Singer Sargent in Isabella Stewart Gardner’s Collection

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About Our Products


Gardner Museum Custom Prints is your exclusive source for custom reproductions authorized and available for purchase directly from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. All items that are offered are produced using gallery-quality materials and the color is managed in a manner that produces a reproduction as true to the original as modern technology will allow.


Many of the works offered through this store are exclusive and not available anywhere else. In addition, new works are continually added to the offering, so come back often to see our new releases.


You have found the work that speaks to you. Now what? Using our innovative custom framing tool, you can preview exactly what your finished and framed art will look like. We offer many different moulding styles so there is sure to be a match for any type of decor.