18th-century art

Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

The Italian Comedians Go on View in Elegant Company

The Italian Comedians / Antoine Watteau

The Getty Museum’s most recent painting acquisition, Jean-Antoine Watteau’s The Italian Comedians, is now on view at the Getty Center. It’s installed in Gallery S202 with an array of other 18th-century paintings in the collection, including one by Nicolas Lancret…. More»

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Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Watteau’s Serious Clown Comes to the Getty

The Italian Comedians in a Park / Antoine Watteau

Antoine Watteau is famous for his theatrical pictures of the 18th-century French megarich at their elegant balls and fêtes galantes. Theater of a different kind figures in The Italian Comedians, a beautiful and poignant painting that has just joined the… More»

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Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

A Portrait of Venice Unmasked

The Painter in His Studio / Pietro Longhi

The life of a painting can be pretty unpredictable. Some are constantly on the move, reaching different parts of the world as they travel through time. When I started at the Getty as an intern, I had only recently returned… More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Clocks and Globes – How Prosperous Parisians in the 18th Century Navigated Their Day (with Bonus Ringtone)

Installation view of Paris: Life & Luxury at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center
Installation view of Paris: Life & Luxury at the Getty Center

Enter Paris: Life & Luxury, closing this Sunday, and you’ll hear chimes pinging through the galleries from extravagant clocks that French aristocrats used to mark time more than two centuries ago. Download (MP3 file, 5 MB) | Length: 5:24 The… More»

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Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Power Breakfast Inspired by a King: The 18th-Century Toilette

The Milliner / Francois Boucher

When posh Parisians in the mid-18th century greeted the day, their morning ritual wasn’t anything like our hasty shower, breakfast, and dash out the door. Their toilette, or ritual of rising and dressing, was an hours-long activity of luxurious pampering,… 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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