About: Zhenya Gershman

I've worked for nearly a decade in the J. Paul Getty Museum's Education Department, participating in interpretation of such exhibitions as Holy Image, Hallowed Ground: Icons from Sinai, Drawings by Rembrandt and His Pupils: Telling the Difference, and Rembrandt's Late Religious Portraits. I've been an artist since I made my first "real" drawing at the age of 10. In my native Russia, I was fortunate to be mentored by two academic artists, Orest Vereisky and Leonid Saifertis. Upon relocating to Los Angeles, after a small culture shock, I pursed my art training by obtaining my BFA from Otis Art Institute and an MFA from Art Center College of Design. I show my art nationally and internationally; my current exhibition is titled XII Apostles and can be seen as a response to the Old Masters' obsession with hiding and revealing human body and soul.

Posts by Zhenya

Posted in Art, Education, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

The Language of Drapery

Joseph and Potiphar's Wife (detail), Guido Reni, about 1630

Drapery—artfully folded fabric—has been used by European artists for centuries, from ancient Greek sculpture to contemporary photography. As I prepare for the studio course I’m leading this Wednesday on sketching drapery after the Old Masters, I’ve been thinking about why…. 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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