ancient Sicily

Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books

Sicily, The International Island

The Crucifixion and the Harrowing of Hell / Sicilian
The Crucifixion and the Harrowing of Hell in a New Testament, Sicilian, late 1100s. Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment, 9 11/16 x 6 3/8 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. Ludwig I 5, fol. 191v

Medieval Sicily was a hotbed of political turmoil and artistic innovation. More»

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Posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Voices

Getty Voices: Sicilian Journeys

Sicily: Art and Invention between Greece and Rome at the Getty Villa
Artwork reproduced by permission of the Regione Siciliana, Assessorato dei Beni Culturali e dell'Identità Siciliana. Dipartimento dei Beni Culturali e dell'Identità Siciliana

A charioteer? A dancer? The Mozia Youth, aguably one of the world’s most breathtaking ancient sculptures, is both mysterious and beautiful. More»

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Posted in Antiquities, Architecture and Design, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Ancient Sicilian Coins: Miniature Masterpieces, Full-Scale Challenges

Coin with Nike Driving a Four-Horse Chariot
Royal Library of Belgium—Coin Cabinet

The designer of the Sicily exhibition at the Getty Villa reveals the challenges of displaying small, double-sided, intricate objects—coins. More»

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      gettypubs:

      COBALT

      The histories of many colors are amazing, but cobalt may well have the most brilliant of them all. From the Ming Dynasty to Renaissance Italy, cobalt was a popular glaze for porcelain and other ceramics. Cobalt ink is invisible unless exposed to flame, which turns it a vivid green. In the 17th century, this quality made Europeans believe it was witchcraft, but decades later it was used as a neat trick on fire screens. It wasn’t until 1802 that painters added cobalt to their palette. 

      It is this little tidbit from cobalt’s history that saved master forger Han van Meergeren’s skin after WWII, when he was tried for collaborating with the Nazis. Want to find out how some art history sleuthing and smart science got him a not guilty verdict? Hint: Don’t try to forge a Vermeer with cobalt! 

      Read all about it in The Brilliant History of Color in Art!

      Images, clockwise:

      Glazed earthenware dish with a marchant ship, Italy, about 1510. 

      Glazed earthenware tile floor, Spain, about 1425-50.

      Porcelain lidded vase, China, about 1662-1772.

      All objects from the J. Paul Getty Museum. 

      12/18/14

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