Posted in Art, Manuscripts and Books

Botanical Art Inspired by Renaissance Illuminations

Hoefnagel-Inspired illumination showing a fly and a fuchsia
Hoefnagel-Inspired #4 2014, Denise Walser-Kolar. Watercolor and gouache on calfskin vellum, 4 x 6 in. Courtesy of and © Denise Walser-Kolar

Botanical illuminations inspired by a rare Renaissance book. More»

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Posted in Art, Manuscripts and Books, Research, Voices

The Getty Graffiti Black Book

One of the first looks at some of the pages for the Getty Graffiti Black Book. We examined a few of our special collections volumes to compare illustrations.

A cross-century, cross-community collaboration between L.A. graffiti and tattoo artists—in the tradition of Albrecht Dürer. More»

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

Time for a Manuscript Close-Up! Welcoming the Abbey Bible to the Museum

Erene Rafik Morcos documenting the Abbey Bible in the Manuscripts Study Room at the J. Paul Getty Museum

The 13th-century illuminated manuscript known as the Abbey Bible recently joined the collection of the Getty Museum—and when the special book arrived, the task of documenting it fell to me. This meant I had to spend a lot of time… More»

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      #ThyCaptionBe: Don’t Be So Crabby

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

      Jaws reference or some rather nasty surf and turf? It’s actually a depiction of the astrological symbol for Cancer.

      Here’s the full story:

      This peasant might be tired from working in the hot sun, but this is no time to go for a swim to cool off! 

      We all know there’s a risk of encountering creepy crawlers when out gardening, but that giant sinister lobster lurking in the water is actually a crab – the astrological symbol for Cancer. 

      Medieval prayer books often include a yearly calendar at the beginning of the text listing important feast days. Each month is usually accompanied by illuminations of seasonal activities and zodiacal signs, such as this one for the month of June.

      #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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