About: Emily Beeny

I'm a curatorial assistant in the Department of Paintings at the Getty Museum, where, since 2009, I've worked on new acquisitions, special exhibitions, and a forthcoming online catalogue of the permanent collection. When not busy writing gallery labels, I continue to chip away at a Ph.D. in art history at Columbia University.

Posts by Emily

Posted in Art, Behind the Scenes, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Labeling Turner

Modern Rome–Campo Vaccino, Joseph Mallord William Turner (English, 1775–1851), 1839. Oil on canvas, 36 1/8 x 48 1/4 in. (unframed), 48 1/4 x 60 3/8 x 4 3/8 in. (framed). The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011.6

Writing the gallery label for a painting can sometimes feel like an art form in itself, a kind of circumscribed descriptive poetry not unrelated to haiku. How, in fewer than 100 words, do you capture the essence of an object,… More»

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      gettypubs:

      ULTRAMARINE

      The vibrant blue in the above image of Saint George and the Dragon (Master of Buillebert de Mets, about 1450-55) still looks remarkably vivid to modern eyes, but to medieval readers it wouldn’t have just looked eye-catching—it would have looked expensive. Why? Because this particular blue pigment (ultramarine) required lapis lazuli, like the carved stone above (Roman, second century AD). For centuries all lapis was sourced from a single mountain range in Afghanistan, meaning that a French medieval manuscript with the color required a lot of financial resources! 

      For more on ultramarine and other shades of blue, check out The Brilliant History of Color in Art.

      Both objects are from the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum.

      11/24/14

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