About: Maria G. Psara

I'm a fourth-year student at UCLA majoring in political science and minoring in art history. After graduation she will be attending the London School of Economics and Political Science to pursue an MSc in Conflict Studies. Of Greek heritage, Maria has been surrounded by the icons and mosaics of the Greek Orthodox Church since childhood. For her, the objects of the exhibition Heaven and Earth represent the dynamic history and culture of an empire that has had such an impact for so many.

Posts by Maria

Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa

Seeking Shelter: A Story of Greek Refugees and the Virgin Episkepsis

Detail of Mosaic Icon with the Virgin and Child / Byzantine
Image courtesy of the Byzantine and Christian Museum, Athens, inv. no 990

What dramatic stories could this Byzantine icon tell? More»

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      The Queen Who Wasn’t

      Louis XIV clandestinely wed his mistress, Madame de Maintenon, at Versailles on October 9 or 10, 1683. The marriage was much gossiped about but never openly acknowledged. She was never queen.

      Madame de Maintenon had been the {judgy} governess to Louis XIV’s children by his previous mistress, Madame de Montespan. Louis gave these children moneyed titles—such as the comte de Toulouse, who ordered the tapestries shown here for his residence outside Paris.

      Louis’s secret marriage ushered in a period of religious fervor, in sharp contrast to the light-hearted character of his early reign. Madame de Maintenon was known for her Catholic piety, and founded a school for the education of impoverished noble girls at Saint-Cyr in 1686 that stayed in operation until 1793. This engraving of the Virgin and Child was dedicated to her by the king.

      Virgin and Child, late 1600s, Jean-Louis Roullet after Pierre Mignard; Johann Ulrich Stapf, engraver. The Getty Research Institute. Tapestries from the Emperor of China series. The J. Paul Getty Museum


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