Back Bay Easter

We were a small party for Easter this year so we went to the St. Botolph Club in Boston for a buffet of oysters, salmon, eggs benedict, coq au vin, and lamb (no ham). This is the artsy old Boston club, and I always enjoy going there because the walls are lined with the work of its members past and present. In the crimson library, there is a portrait of an artist who I became acquainted with through his connections to several Salem artists at the end of the nineteenth century: John Leslie Breck. I’ve come to admire his work over the past few years, and I always “check in” with him whenever I go to St. Botolph’s. Though known as one of the young artists who brought Impressionism to the United States (in successive exhibitions at St. Botolph’s), Breck’s portrait is one of earnest realism: he looks handsome and troubled, or maybe I am just imposing that state on him as I know he ended his own life at the age of 39 in 1899.

Back Bay Easter

Back Bay Easter Dining Room

Back Bay Easter Library

Back Bay Easter Breck


I don’t mean to be so maudlin, but that portrait always makes an impression on me. But it was a lovely Easter afternoon with great food and company and a walk down Commonwealth Avenue searching for signs of spring. We found some, mostly man- made, but there were a few flowering buds—we are on the brink! Walking back to the car from the Public Garden, I looked for my favorite version of the three Lutheran solas: I was just lecturing on them in my Reformation class last week, and I took a photograph for some extra validation for/from my students.

Back Bay Easter Box

Back Bay Easter last

Back Bay Easter 4

Back Bay collage

Back Bay Easter 3

Back Bay Gloves

Back Bay Bushes

Back Bay Easter Flowers

Back Bay Solas

3 responses to “Back Bay Easter

  • Helen Breen

    Hi Donna,

    What a great Easter Monday blog. Sounds as if you folks enjoyed a delightful lunch. While I have not been to St. Botolph’s, I have passed through the Algonquin, Union, and Harvard Clubs in prior years. They do retain such nostalgic charm. I agree that the portrait of John Leslie Breck suggests his underlying melancholy.

    I really enjoyed your pics of Back Bay on the verge of spring, particularly appreciated that urn arrangement of pansies and pussy willows. And those fabulous doorways! Thanks for sharing ….

  • Eilene Lyon

    I can see why the portrait makes an impression, particularly in knowing the background.

  • Thomas R Darisse

    Great pics of Back Bay in Spring.

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