Posted in Art, Manuscripts and Books, Publications

Illuminating the End of Time

Page from Illuminating the End of Time from Getty Publications

2012 was the year proclaimed as the end of time by Mayan hieroglyphs, extra-terrestrial communicators, and bad disaster movies. The Getty Apocalypse, a medieval manuscript of the biblical Book of Revelation recently published as a facsimile by Getty Publications, suggests… More»

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

Far from Marginal: Images in the Margins of the Abbey Bible

Dominican and Franciscan Friars Singing at Lecterns, Conducted by Christ in the Abbey Bible / Italian

We use the word “marginal” to dismiss something as unimportant or trivial. But images in the margins of medieval books are so important they get their own name, marginalia, a Latin term that simply means “things in the margins.” Sometimes… More»

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Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Center, J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books

Interpreting Sacred Scripture across Faiths

Samson Fighting a Lion (detail), Franco-Flemish, about 1270
Samson Fighting a Lion (detail), Franco-Flemish, about 1270

How do people of different faiths read, interpret, and depict the sacred texts known in the Christian tradition as the Old Testament? Come explore the question with us this Sunday as Reverend Alexei Smith, director of the Office of Ecumenical… More»

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      #ThyCaptionBe: You Look Like Hell

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

      Escaping the in-laws or medieval Sea World? It’s actually an extreme punishment for a dress code violation. 

      Here’s the full story:

      The Christian tale of Saint Josaphat is roughly based on the life of the Buddha in a kind of medieval game of telephone, in which the sources for the text passed through Christian circles in the Middle East in the 8th century before appearing in European versions in the 11th century. 

      Here an unsuitably dressed guest—we can see that his tattered clothing and scruffy facial hair have no place at the well-dressed gathering—is cast into the dark, open mouth of a terrifying animal. 

      To make matters worse, the story is a parable in which Barlaam, Josaphat’s Christian teacher, describes the sinful who do not make the cut at the Last Judgment.

      Holiday Lesson: Always check the dress code.

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


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