ancient Egypt

Posted in Antiquities, Art & Archives, Behind the Scenes

Unlocking the Secrets of Ancient Egyptian Funerary Portraits through Modern Technology

Joy Mazurek, assistant scientist at the Getty Conservation Institute, sampling a mummy portrait
Joy Mazurek, assistant scientist at the Getty Conservation Institute, sampling a mummy portrait (J. Paul Getty Museum, 71.AP.72) for binding media analysis.

Funerary portraits yield their secrets. More»

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Posted in Art & Archives, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Research Institute, Voices

Getty Voices: Aztec Idols, Explorers, and Egyptomania

Bust of an Aztec Priestess / Jean Massard the Elder
Bust of an Aztec Priestess, Jean Massard the Elder. Lithograph in Alexander von Humboldt, Vues des Cordillères, et monumens des peuples indigènes de l'Amérique (Paris, 1813), plate 1. The Getty Research Institute, 85-B1535

How did one of the 19th century’s greatest scholars misidentify an Aztec sculpture as Egyptian? Simple: Egyptomania. More»

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Posted in Education, Getty Villa

Mummy Magic at the Getty Villa

Visitors to the Getty Villa at a tour focusing on the mummy of Herakleides

“Take a look at Herakleides. What do you see?” My tour group gathers around Herakleides, the Romano-Egyptian mummy in the Getty Museum’s collection, taking their first good peek at the 2,000-year-old body beneath the glass case. The motifs of ancient… More»

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      #ThyCaptionBe: Bonnacon

      You captioned this detail. And we’re revealing the full story now.

      Farting unicorn or the origin of “say it, don’t spray it”? It’s actually a magical animal from the Middle Ages…

      Here’s the full story:

      Porcupines have got nothing on this animal’s self-defense!

      According to the medieval bestiary (a kind of animal encyclopedia), the bonnacon is a creature with curled horn, leaving it defenseless against predators. 

      To compensate, it has the ability to aim and eject excrement like a projectile to distances of over 500 feet. Oh yeah, and the dung is burning hot. Doesn’t the bonnacon in this image look just a tad smug?

      #ThyCaptionBe is a celebration of modern interpretations of medieval aesthetics. You guess what the heck is going on, then we myth-bust.

      05/03/16

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