19th-century painting

Posted in Art, Paintings

The Invention of the Light Bulb Did Not Conquer the Night

Moonlight, Wolf / Remington
Moonlight, Wolf, ca. 1909, Frederick Remington. Oil on canvas. Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts(1956.2); gift of the members of the Phillips Academy Board of Trustees on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the Addison Gallery

How painters depicted darkness even as the world embraced artificial light More»

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Posted in Art, Paintings

Five Ways of Seeing Van Gogh’s Irises


3. Alone

With a little luck and an early arrival to the museum, you just might be able to enjoy Irises alone. If you arrive right at 10 a.m. when the museum opens, the quiet gallery provides a perfect backdrop to really examine the painting. Solitude and seclusion gives the gallery a sense of intimacy that makes it one of my favorite ways to see it.

4. Multiple Times

Detail of IrisesDuring my observations I noticed people often came back to see the painting multiple times in one day. I wonder if it’s due to its emotional complexity. One visitor felt the painting is filled with melancholy and sadness, pointing out Van Gogh’s stay in an asylum and the lone, white flower in the midst of the vibrant, purple irises. On the opposite end of the spectrum, another viewer felt the painting is full of joy, pointing out how vibrant the colors were, and how they manage to rise out of the seemingly dry, brown dirt.

5. Internationally

Visitors from all across the world viewed this famous Van Gogh. In just one hour I heard multiple languages—French, Italian, Chinese, Korean, German, and more. Irises seems to rise above cultural boundaries—a Dutch painting inspired by Japanese ukiyo-e prints—to strike an emotional resonance amongst all viewers. DH0A5398 One of the great things about art is how we all bring our own perspectives to it. How

Many ways to see a Van Gogh. More»

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Posted in J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

This Just In: Édouard Manet’s “Spring”

Spring (Jeanne Demarsy) / Manet
Spring (Jeanne Demarsy), 1881, Édouard Manet. Oil on canvas, 29 1/8 x 20 ¼ in. The J. Paul Getty Museum

For Manet, fashion and the femininity were metaphors for the skilled artifice of painting itself. More»

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Posted in J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

The Radical Artistic Vision of Manet’s “Spring”

Spring as installed at the Getty Museum / Edouard Manet
Spring (Jeanne Demarsy), 1881, Édouard Manet. Oil on canvas, 29 1/8 x 20 ¼ in. The J. Paul Getty Museum

This beautiful painting contains the germ of modern art as we know it. More»

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Posted in Art, Paintings

Long Looks from Island to Island

Old Couple / John Currin
Artwork © John Currin. Photo: Robert McKeever

Two paintings of lovers, decades and centuries apart. More»

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

Who Was James Ensor?

The Skeleton Painter / James Ensor
Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp. © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SABAM, Brussels. Image © Lukas-Art in Flanders vzw, photo Hugo Maertens

Belgium’s most eccentric, scandalous, and shocking painter is the focus of an exhibition at the Getty Center this summer. More»

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Posted in Art, Behind the Scenes, Getty Research Institute, J. Paul Getty Museum

Explorations in Darkness and Light: Odilon Redon

Then appears a singular being having a man’s head atop the body of a fish / Odilon Redon

My job as research assistant to Marcia Reed, chief curator at the Getty Research Institute, and Louis Marchesano, curator of prints & drawings, might be described as “research becomes eclectic.” In addition to investigating a wide array of potential acquisitions… More»

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Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

A “French ‘Mona Lisa’” Comes to L.A.: Manet’s “Portrait of Madame Brunet”

Portrait of Madame Brunet / Edouard Manet

Museum-quality paintings by Édouard Manet still remaining in private hands are exceptionally rare, and the Getty Museum is extremely fortunate in its most recent addition to the paintings collection: Manet’s Portrait of Madame Brunet, which goes on view at the… More»

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Posted in Art, Paintings

In Need of a Géricault “Fix”

Portrait Study for The Raft of the Medusa, Théodore Géricault, 1818–19

Even though it’s been more than a decade, I remember it as though it were yesterday. Like so many art history students, I made my first pilgrimage to the Louvre—tantamount to mecca for an art nerd like me—to feast my… More»

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Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Center, Paintings, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Naked or Nude? Gérôme’s Provocative Bodies


During a tour of the new exhibition The Spectacular Art of Jean-Léon Gérôme, curator Mary Morton stopped in front of Gérôme’s Snake Charmer and asked the audience, “What do you see?” Murmurs spread through the crowd. One brave little girl… More»

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      Wanna manna?

      God rained down manna (bread from heaven) on Moses and the hungry Israelites on their journey out of Egypt. 

      Described as white “like coriander seed” and tasting “like wafers made with honey,” manna was both physical and spiritual nourishment and a sign that God was watching over the Jews.

      In this image, the Israelites around Moses bend down to hurriedly collect manna, which the Bible says melted in the sunlight.


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