Ancient World, Antiquities, Behind the Scenes, Getty Villa, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Installing “Lion Attacking a Horse” at the Getty Villa

The massive sculpture of a Lion Attacking a Horse hasn’t left Rome in over 2,000 years, but it feels right at home sitting in the Atrium of the Getty Villa. The giant marble, on loan through January 2013 as part of a new partnership between the Getty Museum and the civic museums of Rome, has long been an inspiration to artists. Its iconic battle of beasts echoes through centuries of art, from a Roman mosaic of a lion attacking a wild ass to a French tapestry showing a leopard mauling a zebra in Brazil, both pieces found in the Getty’s collection.

No other work, however, matches the size or mass of the original. This video, narrated by Claire Lyons, acting senior curator of antiquities at the Museum, takes you behind the scenes as we move 3.5 tons of Greek art into its temporary home.

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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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