About: David Saunders

Posted in Ancient World, Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

A Roman Emperor Sojourns at the Getty Villa

Wheeling the Statue of Tiberius from the loading dock at the Getty VIlla

The Roman emperor Tiberius, who ruled from A.D. 14 to 37, has something of a reputation for wanting to get away from it all. In 6 B.C., he stepped out of the political and military arena and settled for seven… More»

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Posted in Antiquities, Art, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Photographs, Film, and Video

From Malibu to Cyprus and Back Again

Cindy Crawford, Ferre 3 Malibu / Herb Ritts

Having spent a good deal of time with Aphrodite of late, I found in Herb Ritts: L.A. Style a real feast—not just for the eyes, but for the mind. The two exhibitions overlap in their focus on the seductive allure… More»

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Posted in Antiquities, Art, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Sleeping with Aphrodite

Relief with a Man and a Siren / Roman

One of the most enjoyable aspects of curating an exhibition is serendipity. Not to say these projects aren’t carefully planned (far from it), but sometimes the physical relationship of two artworks will coincide in an unexpectedly fortuitous way, or a… More»

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Posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Eros, the Naughty Superhero of Love

Eros Wearing a Lionskin / Greek

Did you receive a Valentine’s card today? Take a second look at those cartoon Cupids. They derive, in their own way, from ancient Greece and Rome, but might not be so cute as they first appear. Then as now, Cupid’s… More»

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      #ThyCaptionBe: Don’t Be So Crabby

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

      Jaws reference or some rather nasty surf and turf? It’s actually a depiction of the astrological symbol for Cancer.

      Here’s the full story:

      This peasant might be tired from working in the hot sun, but this is no time to go for a swim to cool off! 

      We all know there’s a risk of encountering creepy crawlers when out gardening, but that giant sinister lobster lurking in the water is actually a crab – the astrological symbol for Cancer. 

      Medieval prayer books often include a yearly calendar at the beginning of the text listing important feast days. Each month is usually accompanied by illuminations of seasonal activities and zodiacal signs, such as this one for the month of June.

      #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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