Charles Le Brun

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

Recovering Lost History in Le Brun’s Prints

Crossing of the Granicus, Gérard Audran after Charles Le Brun, 1672. The Getty Research Institute, 2003.PR.33

In 2003 the Getty Research Institute acquired hundreds of 17th-century French prints that had been in the collection of a European noble family. This family had systematically, over hundreds of years, amassed an incredibly important collection of Old Master prints,… More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Research Institute

The Rise and Fall of Charles Le Brun: Q&A with Louis Marchesano

louis_marchesano_2

I talked to Louis Marchesano, curator of prints and drawings at the Getty Research Institute, about the exhibition Printing the Grand Manner: Charles Le Brun and Monumental Prints in the Age of Louis XIV, now on view at the GRI—how… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Research Institute

Royal Propaganda, from Prints to Pixels

Queens of Persia at the Feet of Alexander (detail), Gérard Edelink after Charles Le Brun, ca. 1675

Spin control—it’s been around for centuries. Louis XIV, king of France from 1660 to 1715, was a master at it, using art—especially the work of his court painter, Charles Le Brun—to create and perpetuate a glorified image of his monarchy…. 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 wacko. “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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