Monthly Archives: January 2011

Posted in Antiquities, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books

A Lasting War: Representing Troy in Ancient Greece and Medieval Europe

The Construction and Destruction of Troy, Orosius Master, Paris, 1405-6. In City of God (Cité de Dieu; original text in Latin); Saint Augustine, author; Raoul de Presles, translator. The Philip S. Collins Collection, gift of Mrs. Philip S. Collins in memory of her husband, 1945. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Ms. 1945.65.1, fol. 66v

For when one sees a story illustrated, whether of Troy or something else, he sees the actions of the worthy men that lived in those times, just as though they were present.    —Richard de Fournival, Bestiare d’amours, ca. 1250 The… More»

Tagged , , , , , , 7 Responses
Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

In Search of Messerschmidt’s “Vexed Man”

The Vexed Man, Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, 1771–83. Alabaster, 16 9/16 in. high

New for summer 2012—The Vexed Man is back at the Getty, but he’s moved from his usual haunts for the exhibition Messerschmidt and Modernity, July 24–October 13, 2012. The show brings together several of Messerschmidt’s Character Heads, including the excellently… More»

Tagged , , , , , , , , Leave a comment
Posted in Art, Education, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Question of the Week: Is the Viewer Part of an Artwork?

Entrance to the Jardin Turc, Louis-Léopold Boilly, 1812. Oil on canvas, 28 7/8 x 35 7/8 in.

More than 60 people sit, chat, and play in this elaborate composition outside the entrance to the Jardin Turc, or Turkish Garden Café, in early-1800s Paris. The café was known for its spacious gardens, exotic pavilions, and excellent ice cream,… More»

Tagged , , , , , 9 Responses
Posted in Art, Getty Research Institute, Research

The Display of Art in Roman Palaces

Section of a Palace with Carriage, Andrea Francesco Nicoletti, 1709 (?), pen and black ink with watercolor. Gabinetto Comunale delle Stampe, Rome

At a time when we’re accustomed to viewing art in museums—and often in galleries that more or less resemble a white cube—it’s worth thinking back a few centuries to the way many of the paintings and objects in collections like… More»

Tagged , , , , , , , , Leave a comment
Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Manet of Mystery (and Melancholy)

The Rue Mosnier with Flags / Edouard Manet

My love affair with Édouard Manet, who was born on this day in 1832, is now decades in the making—dating back to my very first high school art history course, when the teacher showed a slide of the artist’s 1863… More»

Tagged , 2 Responses
Posted in Education, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books

Imagining the Culinary Past in France: Recipes for a Medieval Feast

The Performance of a Crusade Play at King Charles V's Feast (detail), Master of the Coronation of Charles VI, Paris, about 1375–80. From Great Chronicles of France (Grandes chroniques de France). Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Ms. fr. 2813, fol. 473v

In the French Middle Ages, as today, banquets were opportunities for the well-heeled to entertain guests in style. The set-up was simple: boards placed on trestles topped with white cloths, wine diluted with water in clay vessels, meats on five-day-old… More»

Tagged , , , , , , , , , 2 Responses
Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Center, J. Paul Getty Museum

Volunteer Profile: Suzanne Ziesmer, 10 Years of Giving

Suzanne Ziesmer has been volunteering at the Getty for a decade.
Suzanne Ziesmer has been volunteering at the Getty for a decade.

When you step off from the Getty Center tram on a Tuesday, Suzanne Ziesmer is there to greet you. It’s 64 degrees on this particular morning. A perfect spring day in most parts of the country—although Angelenos consider this downright… More»

Tagged , 7 Responses
Posted in Architecture and Design, Getty Center

Chasing Clouds at the Getty Center

clouds

They say the Getty Center never looks as beautiful as it does after the rain. I decided to find out! The day after a week of showers, I went out and filmed a sunny day.

Tagged , , , 5 Responses
Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Research Institute

Study and Play for Visiting Scholars at the Getty Research Institute

Getty Research Institute visiting scholars on the GRI's West Terrace

Each year, the Getty Research Institute invites scholars and artists to work on projects that go hand in hand with a chosen theme. This year’s theme is The Display of Art, a broad, deep topic examining how ideas and objects… More»

Tagged , , , , , Leave a comment
Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations

A Tale of Two Beths

Christ and a Monk and Two Shepherds in a Franco-Flemish bestiary made about 1270. This page is on view in the exhibition Illuminated Manuscripts from Belgium and the Netherlands through February 6.

When you write novels for a living, as I do, you get used to making things up—places, plots, people. What you don’t expect is to hear back from one of those characters you’ve cooked up out of thin air. Imagine the… More»

Tagged , , , , , , Leave a comment
  • Facebook

  • Twitter

  • Tumblr

    • photo from Tumblr

      All Hail Tiberius, Least Media-Savvy of the Roman Emperors

      Tiberius was proclaimed Roman emperor on September 17 in AD 14, exactly 2,000 years ago.

      He was also a bit wacko. “He was the least media-savvy emperor you could imagine,” says curator David Saunders, who has been in charge of this bronze portrait of Tiberius which leaves us on September 22. He point to this description found in the writings of Cassius Dio:

      Tiberius was a patrician of good education, but he had a most peculiar nature. He never let what he desired appear in his conversation, and what he said he wanted he usually did not desire at all. On the contrary, his words indicated the exact opposite of his real purpose; he denied all interest in what he longed for, and urged the claims of what he hated. He would exhibit anger over matters that were far from arousing his wrath, and make a show of affability where he was most vexed…In short, he thought it bad policy for the sovereign to reveal his thoughts; this was often the cause, he said, of great failures, whereas by the opposite course, far more and greater successes were attained.

      Moreover, David tells us, “Tiberius’s accession itself was a farrago: Tiberius sort-of feigning reluctance, the Senate bullying him, he being all, ‘Well, if-I-have-to,’ and in the end—according to Suetonius—saying he’ll do it as long as he can retire.”

      Suetonius is full of great, albeit spurious, anecdotes about poor old Tiberius, David reports. “When someone addressed him as ‘My Lord,’ it is said, Tiberius gave warning that no such insult should ever again be thrown at him.”

      Happy accession, My Lord!

      Portrait Head of Tiberius (“The Lansdowne Tiberius”), early 1st century A.D., Roman. The J. Paul Getty Museum

      Statue of Tiberius (detail), Roman, A.D. 37, Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei – Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Laboratorio di Conservazione e Restauro. Currently on view at the Getty Villa following conservation and study.

      09/17/14

  • Flickr