Byzantine art

Posted in Ancient World, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa

Power through Prayer

Mummy Portrait of a Boy, about A.D. 150–200, Romano-Egyptian, made in Fayum, Egypt. Encaustic on wood, 8 x 5 1/8 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 78.AP.262

Can a small gold pendant ward off dark forces? More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa

Curators’ Choice: Byzantine Treasures

Pectoral Cross / Greek
Photo © Benaki Museum, Athens

Four treasures not to miss when you visit the Byzantine art exhibition at the Getty Villa. More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa

Put a Ring On It

Engagement Ring with a Greek Inscription / Byzantine
Image courtesy of the National Archaeological Museum, Athens

One ring and the two women who treasured it. More»

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Posted in Architecture and Design, Art, Behind the Scenes, J. Paul Getty Museum

Designing Heaven And Earth

Galleries of Heaven and Earth at the Getty Villa
Icons glow against "Raspberry Truffle" walls.

Behind the scenes with the design of an exhibition of Byzantine treasures. More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa

Hidden Beneath the Ruins of Eleutherna

Plaque with the Life of Achilles / Byzantine
Image courtesy of the Rethymno Archaeological Museum

Recently unearthed from the ruins of an ancient city in Greece, a group of carved ivories provides a window into the dawn of Christian art in Byzantium. More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa

A Greek Green Man

Keystone in the Shape of a Foliate Face / Greek
Image courtesy of the Chloumoutsi (Clermont) Castle Museum, Ilia

Why is a Gothic carving in an exhibition of Byzantine art? More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa

The Fur-Cloaked Prophet: Elijah and the “City of Beavers”

Icon with the Prophet Elijah / Byzantine
Image courtesy of the Byzantine Museum, Kastoria

Religion, commerce, and art combine in the unusual story of a Byzantine icon from Kastoria, Greece. More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa

Seeking Shelter: A Story of Greek Refugees and the Virgin Episkepsis

Detail of Mosaic Icon with the Virgin and Child / Byzantine
Image courtesy of the Byzantine and Christian Museum, Athens, inv. no 990

What dramatic stories could this Byzantine icon tell? More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa

Myth and Miraculous Performance: The Virgin Hodegetria

Icon with the Virgin and Child / Byzantine
Image courtesy of the Byzantine Museum, Kastoria, no. 457

Revered in Constantinople, the icon known as the Virgin Hodegetria was believed to hold special powers. More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa

Uncovering the History of a Long-Buried Byzantine Treasure

Hagia Sophia mosaic of the Virgin Mary
The Virgin Mary wears ornamented cuffs to secure her sleeves in this mosaic in Hagia Sophia. Photo from Mosaics of Thessaloniki: 4th to 14th century, ed. Charalambos Bakirtzis (Athens: 2012)

A woman’s gold cuff provides a window into the rich history of Thessaloniki. More»

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      All Hail Tiberius, Least Media-Savvy of the Roman Emperors

      Tiberius was proclaimed Roman emperor on September 17 in AD 14, exactly 2,000 years ago.

      He was also a bit idiosyncratic. “He was the least media-savvy emperor you could imagine,” says curator David Saunders, who has been in charge of this bronze portrait of Tiberius which leaves us on September 22. He point to this description found in the writings of Cassius Dio:

      Tiberius was a patrician of good education, but he had a most peculiar nature. He never let what he desired appear in his conversation, and what he said he wanted he usually did not desire at all. On the contrary, his words indicated the exact opposite of his real purpose; he denied all interest in what he longed for, and urged the claims of what he hated. He would exhibit anger over matters that were far from arousing his wrath, and make a show of affability where he was most vexed…In short, he thought it bad policy for the sovereign to reveal his thoughts; this was often the cause, he said, of great failures, whereas by the opposite course, far more and greater successes were attained.

      Moreover, David tells us, “Tiberius’s accession itself was a farrago: Tiberius sort-of feigning reluctance, the Senate bullying him, he being all, ‘Well, if-I-have-to,’ and in the end—according to Suetonius—saying he’ll do it as long as he can retire.”

      Suetonius is full of great, albeit spurious, anecdotes about poor old Tiberius, David reports. “When someone addressed him as ‘My Lord,’ it is said, Tiberius gave warning that no such insult should ever again be thrown at him.”

      Happy accession, My Lord!

      Portrait Head of Tiberius (“The Lansdowne Tiberius”), early 1st century A.D., Roman. The J. Paul Getty Museum

      Statue of Tiberius (detail), Roman, A.D. 37, Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei – Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Laboratorio di Conservazione e Restauro. Currently on view at the Getty Villa following conservation and study.

      09/17/14

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