auctions

Posted in Art, Behind the Scenes, Getty Research Institute, Paintings, Research

Life Before eBay: British Art Auctions at the End of the 18th Century

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A major new project traces the rise of the British art market in the late 1700s. More»

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Posted in J. Paul Getty Museum, Prints and Drawings

From Auction to Gallery: A Major Renaissance Portrait Drawing for the Getty

Portrait of a Young Man, Head and Shoulders, Wearing a Cap / Piero del Pollaiuolo

I find auctions terrifying. Mesmerizing, but terrifying. When a major early Renaissance portrait drawing came up for auction at Sotheby’s in New York a month ago, my stomach was in my mouth. It was the sort of drawing one hardly… 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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