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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      ROSE

      This milky pink boomed into popularity because of a marketing ploy, a mistress, and its ambiguous origins.

      In an effort to compete with the renowned Meissen porcelain factory, the French Sèvres manufactory recruited the glamorous Madame de Pompadour (mistress to King Louis XV). Like a smart sponsorship deal, Sèvres gave her all the porcelain she requested. 

      Introduced in 1757, this rich pink exploded on the scene thanks to favoritism by Madame Pompadour herself. 

      The glaze itself had a weird history. To the Europeans it looked Chinese, and to the Chinese it was European. It was made based on a secret 17th-century glassmaker’s technique, involving mixing glass with flecks of gold.

      For more on colors and their often surprising histories, check out The Brilliant History of Color in Art.

      12/19/14

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