About: Anne Martens

Flying under the radar is what I do best, as long as I can be involved in anything and everything. That's perhaps why I'm an artist and journalist. I combine both of those interests at the Museum as a writer for Collection Information & Access—collaborating on projects that range from producing audio and videos to animation and interactive media about collection-related exhibitions and works of art.

Posts by Anne

Posted in Art, Art & Archives, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Dear “Woman in Blue,” Let Me Tell You Of…

vemeer_writing_steve_featured

“You will be forgotten. Your image, however, will be immortal. Through it, you will travel far—not by horse and cart, or merchant ship, but through the sky…” More»

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Posted in Art, Art & Archives, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Write the Opening Line to Vermeer’s “Lady in Blue”

Detail of woman's face and letter in Woman in Blue Reading a Letter / Vermeer
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. On loan from the City of Amsterdam (A. van der Hoop Bequest)

What do you imagine the first line of this letter might say? Share your ideas, and we’ll continue the story. More»

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Posted in Art, Art & Archives, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Cabinet of Wonders

cabinet

The Augsburg Display Cabinet—the Getty Museum’s 17th-century “cabinet of curiosities” on display starting tomorrow in our New Galleries for Medieval and Renaissance Sculpture and Decorative Arts—is both a work of art and an early prototype of museums. With dozens of… More»

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      A Brief History of the Fleur-de-lis in Art

      The fleur-de-lis, a familiar symbol with varied meanings and a rather obscure origin.

      If you read the labels of objects in museums bearing the fleur-de-lis (in French, fleur de lys, pronounced with the final “s”), you might notice that they were all made in France before the French Revolution of 1789. 

      What’s less apparent is that the fleur-de-lis marks objects that bear witness to a dramatic history of monarchy, democracy, and war: they speak to the inherent power of trappings commissioned for and by France’s pre-revolutionary kings.

      Adopted as a royal emblem in France by the 1100s, the fleur-de-lis can be traced to early Frankish monarchs including Clovis I, who converted to Christianity in 496, and the renowned Charlemagne. 

      A French word, fleur-de-lis translates literally to “lily flower.” This is appropriate given the association of lilies with purity (and the Virgin Mary) and given that France has long been known as the “Eldest Daughter of the Church.” In truth, the stylized flower most closely resembles a yellow iris. 

      As a heraldic symbol used in the arms of the French monarchy, the fleur-de-lis often appears in yellow or gold tones and set on a blue shield. 

      Given its intimate royal associations, the fleur-de-lis invoked the ire of revolutionaries even before the fall of the monarchy in 1792. In addition to toppling royal statues, vandals chipped away at crowns and fleurs-de-lis adorning the façades of buildings.

      Full blog post on the Getty Iris here.

      04/28/16

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