conservators

Posted in Art & Archives, Conservation, Getty Conservation Institute, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Conservation Up Close: Maillol’s “Torso of Dina”

Graduate intern Kellie Boss shines an examination light on Aristide Maillol's Torse de Dina
Grad intern Kellie Boss shines an examination light on Aristide Maillol's Torse de Dina

Museum conservators solve a mystery during the routine treatment of an outdoor sculpture More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Education, Getty Conservation Institute

Boot Camp for Conservators Explores X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry

XRF analysis of The Title Makers / Alfred Jensen
Artwork: Yale University Art Gallery

In a joint Yale-Getty program, conservators learn to harness physics to analyze art. More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Research Institute, J. Paul Getty Museum

Ask Us! International Ask-a-Curator Day is Wednesday, September 19

Gravestone with a Woman and Her Attendant / Greek

Update—Questions and answers here! We’re excited to join hundreds of art, history, and science museums internationally to participate in Ask-a-Curator Day, an online Q&A in which our friendly art experts—curators and conservators at the Getty Museum and the Getty Research Institute—will… More»

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      A Brief History of the Fleur-de-lis in Art

      The fleur-de-lis, a familiar symbol with varied meanings and a rather obscure origin.

      If you read the labels of objects in museums bearing the fleur-de-lis (in French, fleur de lys, pronounced with the final “s”), you might notice that they were all made in France before the French Revolution of 1789. 

      What’s less apparent is that the fleur-de-lis marks objects that bear witness to a dramatic history of monarchy, democracy, and war: they speak to the inherent power of trappings commissioned for and by France’s pre-revolutionary kings.

      Adopted as a royal emblem in France by the 1100s, the fleur-de-lis can be traced to early Frankish monarchs including Clovis I, who converted to Christianity in 496, and the renowned Charlemagne. 

      A French word, fleur-de-lis translates literally to “lily flower.” This is appropriate given the association of lilies with purity (and the Virgin Mary) and given that France has long been known as the “Eldest Daughter of the Church.” In truth, the stylized flower most closely resembles a yellow iris. 

      As a heraldic symbol used in the arms of the French monarchy, the fleur-de-lis often appears in yellow or gold tones and set on a blue shield. 

      Given its intimate royal associations, the fleur-de-lis invoked the ire of revolutionaries even before the fall of the monarchy in 1792. In addition to toppling royal statues, vandals chipped away at crowns and fleurs-de-lis adorning the façades of buildings.

      Full blog post on the Getty Iris here.

      04/28/16

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