British Museum

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Understanding the Cyrus Cylinder | Getty Voices

The Cyrus Cylinder as installed at the Getty Villa / Achaemenid
The Cyrus Cylinder, Achaemenid, after 539 B.C. Terracotta, 22.9 x 10 cm. The British Museum

Curator David Saunders attempts to fit the need-to-knows about the Cyrus Cylinder into a nutshell. More»

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Posted in Art, Paintings, Photographs, Film, and Video, Prints and Drawings

Dogs Behaving Badly

A Merry Company / Jacob Jordaens
A Merry Company, about 1644, Jacob Jordaens. Watercolor and white gouache heightening over black chalk. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2000.59

Most dogs are impeccably well behaved—in art, anyway. They sit quietly on laps, raise a paw for their beloved master, or contort themselves into perfect S curves. The king of Old Master dogs is Guercino’s heroic mastiff, who looks like… 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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