About: Isabella Lores-Chavez

I’m currently a senior at Yale, studying art history. Though my scholarly focus is Robert Rauschenberg and the American 1950s, my interests range widely from Dürer to Velazquez to Cézanne. As an avid writer, I’ve loved the chance to contribute to the Getty’s blog! It’s great to be home in L.A. for the summer, in the company of family, friends, Mexican food, and the amazing art collections L.A. has to offer.

Posts by Isabella

Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

A Portrait of Venice Unmasked

The Painter in His Studio / Pietro Longhi

The life of a painting can be pretty unpredictable. Some are constantly on the move, reaching different parts of the world as they travel through time. When I started at the Getty as an intern, I had only recently returned… More»

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      gettypubs:

      COBALT

      The histories of many colors are amazing, but cobalt may well have the most brilliant of them all. From the Ming Dynasty to Renaissance Italy, cobalt was a popular glaze for porcelain and other ceramics. Cobalt ink is invisible unless exposed to flame, which turns it a vivid green. In the 17th century, this quality made Europeans believe it was witchcraft, but decades later it was used as a neat trick on fire screens. It wasn’t until 1802 that painters added cobalt to their palette. 

      It is this little tidbit from cobalt’s history that saved master forger Han van Meergeren’s skin after WWII, when he was tried for collaborating with the Nazis. Want to find out how some art history sleuthing and smart science got him a not guilty verdict? Hint: Don’t try to forge a Vermeer with cobalt! 

      Read all about it in The Brilliant History of Color in Art!

      Images, clockwise:

      Glazed earthenware dish with a marchant ship, Italy, about 1510. 

      Glazed earthenware tile floor, Spain, about 1425-50.

      Porcelain lidded vase, China, about 1662-1772.

      All objects from the J. Paul Getty Museum. 

      12/18/14

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