About: Mantha Zarmakoupi

I’m a senior fellow at the Getty Research Institute working on a book project on the idea of landscape in Roman luxury villas. I’m also an associate of the École française d’Athènes, participating in a research team that examines the storage spaces in the late Hellenistic city of Delos. I earned my PhD from Oxford and have held research fellowships at the Freie Universität in Berlin, New York University, and the University of Cologne, and have taught at Bard College in Berlin and University College London. In 2010 I edited a volume on the Villa of the Papyri; my first monograph examined the architecture of Roman luxury villas around the Bay of Naples.

Posts by Mantha

Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa

A Virtual Model of the Villa dei Papiri

Side view of the virtual-reality model of the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum

The exhibition Inside Out: Pompeian Interiors Exposed at the Italian Cultural Institute includes a virtual-reality model of the Villa dei Papiri (Villa of the Papyri) in Herculaneum that I recently developed at UCLA’s Experiential Technologies Center with support from the Friends… 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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