French art

Posted in Art, Behind the Scenes, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

See the Decorative Arts from a New Angle

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Do artworks have an inner life? You might think so when you visit a new exhibition opening today at the Getty Center. The Life of Art: Context, Collecting, and Display presents the life stories of four objects made to serve… More»

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Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

A “French ‘Mona Lisa’” Comes to L.A.: Manet’s “Portrait of Madame Brunet”

Portrait of Madame Brunet / Edouard Manet

Museum-quality paintings by Édouard Manet still remaining in private hands are exceptionally rare, and the Getty Museum is extremely fortunate in its most recent addition to the paintings collection: Manet’s Portrait of Madame Brunet, which goes on view at the… More»

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Posted in Art, Education, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Question of the Week: Where Is the Line between Private and Public?

The Model Resting / Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Where is the line between private and public? Each situation has a different answer—and sometimes many different possible answers. As an example, take this painting by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Lautrec portrays a woman seen from above and behind as she… More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books

Tights, A Medieval Fashion Faux Pas, Return!

The Competition in Sittacene and the Placating of Sisigambis / Attributed to the Master of the Jardin de vertueuse consolation

For over a year now, a fashion trend from medieval Europe—once reserved for men of elite social standing—has been resurrected and adopted by women, causing some fashionistas to cringe. Tights are back. In mid-15th-century England, a law restricted the wearing… More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Clocks and Globes – How Prosperous Parisians in the 18th Century Navigated Their Day (with Bonus Ringtone)

Installation view of Paris: Life & Luxury at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center
Installation view of Paris: Life & Luxury at the Getty Center

Enter Paris: Life & Luxury, closing this Sunday, and you’ll hear chimes pinging through the galleries from extravagant clocks that French aristocrats used to mark time more than two centuries ago. Download (MP3 file, 5 MB) | Length: 5:24 The… More»

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Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Power Breakfast Inspired by a King: The 18th-Century Toilette

The Milliner / Francois Boucher

When posh Parisians in the mid-18th century greeted the day, their morning ritual wasn’t anything like our hasty shower, breakfast, and dash out the door. Their toilette, or ritual of rising and dressing, was an hours-long activity of luxurious pampering,… More»

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Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Paris Gamblers: Gaming in 18th-Century France

Interior with Card Players, Pierre-Louis Dumesnil, about 1752. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bequest of Harry G. Sperling, 1971 (1976.100.8) TMS Creditline Repro: 	   	Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art / Art Resource, NY

Players of backgammon, bridge, and bingo might feel a keen camaraderie with the prosperous Parisians of the 1700s whose sumptuous world is brought to life in the current exhibition Paris: Life & Luxury. The well-coiffed elite of the time relished… More»

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Posted in Art, Prints and Drawings

Honoré Daumier: Still Relevant after 150 Years

The French judicial system on trial: A Criminal Case, Honoré Daumier, 1865. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 89.GA.33

Years ago I found myself in the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a posse of 15 finance geeks in tow, enjoying respite from a college trip to study financial institutions on Wall Street. Being the only art nerd amongst the… More»

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Posted in Art, Education, J. Paul Getty Museum

Question of the Week: Demure or Coquettish? Revealing or Concealing?

Bust of Madame Recamier, Joseph Chinard, about 1801–1802. Terracotta, 24 7/8 in. high. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 88.SC.42

Can an artist do justice to a beautiful woman? This sensuous terracotta bust by Joseph Chinard captures the elegance and grace of legendary beauty Juliette Récamier, a socialite renowned for her wit and notorious for her love affairs. Holding a… More»

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Posted in Antiquities, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books

A Lasting War: Representing Troy in Ancient Greece and Medieval Europe

The Construction and Destruction of Troy, Orosius Master, Paris, 1405-6. In City of God (Cité de Dieu; original text in Latin); Saint Augustine, author; Raoul de Presles, translator. The Philip S. Collins Collection, gift of Mrs. Philip S. Collins in memory of her husband, 1945. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Ms. 1945.65.1, fol. 66v

For when one sees a story illustrated, whether of Troy or something else, he sees the actions of the worthy men that lived in those times, just as though they were present.    —Richard de Fournival, Bestiare d’amours, ca. 1250 The… More»

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      gettypubs:

      COBALT

      The histories of many colors are amazing, but cobalt may well have the most brilliant of them all. From the Ming Dynasty to Renaissance Italy, cobalt was a popular glaze for porcelain and other ceramics. Cobalt ink is invisible unless exposed to flame, which turns it a vivid green. In the 17th century, this quality made Europeans believe it was witchcraft, but decades later it was used as a neat trick on fire screens. It wasn’t until 1802 that painters added cobalt to their palette. 

      It is this little tidbit from cobalt’s history that saved master forger Han van Meergeren’s skin after WWII, when he was tried for collaborating with the Nazis. Want to find out how some art history sleuthing and smart science got him a not guilty verdict? Hint: Don’t try to forge a Vermeer with cobalt! 

      Read all about it in The Brilliant History of Color in Art!

      Images, clockwise:

      Glazed earthenware dish with a marchant ship, Italy, about 1510. 

      Glazed earthenware tile floor, Spain, about 1425-50.

      Porcelain lidded vase, China, about 1662-1772.

      All objects from the J. Paul Getty Museum. 

      12/18/14

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