About: Elizabeth Morrison and Bryan Keene

We are curators in the department of manuscripts.

Posts by Elizabeth Morrison and Bryan Keene

Posted in J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books, Photographs, Film, and Video

See Authentic Medieval Hand-to-Hand Combat in New Video

Details of two men fighting with swords in the medieval manuscript Flower of Battle
Combat with Sword (detail) in Fiore Furlan dei Liberi da Premariacco, The Flower of Battle, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. Ludwig XV 13, fol. 20v

A new video brings 15th-century fighting moves to life. More»

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Posted in Art, Manuscripts and Books

A Medieval Soap Opera


Falling in love in the Middle Ages was more of a roller-coaster ride than today’s soap operas. More»

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      #ThyCaptionBe: Minty Fresh Inspiration

      You captioned this detail. And we’re revealing the full story now.

      Spit-take baptism or the fresh to death Patron Saint of Minty Fresh Breath? It’s really a depiction of Saint John receiving direct inspiration from God.

      Here’s the full story:

      The Bible recounts many examples of direct inspiration from God, but it doesn’t ever explicitly mention a blinding blue light shooting directly from heaven to the mouth of Saint John, as is depicted here. Nor does Saint John ever mention the uncomfortable sensation of being surrounded by a purple amoeba. 

      In this image that begins the Gospel of John in a Gospel book, the use of bright colors and strong shapes creates a sense of surrealism

      The illumination’s dynamic energy, however, is typical of artists working in the seventeenth century in the Armenian enclave of New Julfa in Isfahan.

      #ThyCaptionBe is a celebration of modern interpretations of medieval aesthetics. You guess what the heck is going on, then we myth-bust.


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