French art

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

Question of the Week: Is the Viewer Part of an Artwork?

Entrance to the Jardin Turc, Louis-Léopold Boilly, 1812. Oil on canvas, 28 7/8 x 35 7/8 in.

More than 60 people sit, chat, and play in this elaborate composition outside the entrance to the Jardin Turc, or Turkish Garden Café, in early-1800s Paris. The café was known for its spacious gardens, exotic pavilions, and excellent ice cream,… More»

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

Imagining the Culinary Past in France: Recipes for a Medieval Feast

The Performance of a Crusade Play at King Charles V's Feast (detail), Master of the Coronation of Charles VI, Paris, about 1375–80. From Great Chronicles of France (Grandes chroniques de France). Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Ms. fr. 2813, fol. 473v
The Performance of a Crusade Play at King Charles V\'s Feast (detail), Master of the Coronation of Charles VI, Paris, about 1375–80. From Great Chronicles of France (Grandes chroniques de France). Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Ms. fr. 2813, fol. 473v

In the French Middle Ages, as today, banquets were opportunities for the well-heeled to entertain guests in style. The set-up was simple: boards placed on trestles topped with white cloths, wine diluted with water in clay vessels, meats on five-day-old… More»

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

Question of the Week: Does Art Have to Be Serious?

Self-Portrait, Yawning, Joseph Ducreux, before 1783. Oil on canvas, 45 x 35 in.

Nowadays, seeing a silly picture of a person is hardly unusual. Showing personality is a good thing. Social customs weren’t quite the same in 18th-century France, when Joseph Ducreux painted this self-portrait. An official court painter, he was known for refined… More»

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

Objects and Memories: Edmund de Waal on Tracing a Family Collection

Albert Cahen d’Anvers, Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1881. The J. Paul Getty Museum. The portrait was sold by the Cahen d’Anvers family to a Swiss gallery in 1971.

When you visit a museum, it’s easy to forget that objects have a story, a journey from where they began to where they are now. Take Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s portrait of the composer Albert Cahen d’Anvers. It’s one of the most… More»

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Posted in Art, Paintings

In Need of a Géricault “Fix”

Portrait Study for The Raft of the Medusa, Théodore Géricault, 1818–19

Even though it’s been more than a decade, I remember it as though it were yesterday. Like so many art history students, I made my first pilgrimage to the Louvre—tantamount to mecca for an art nerd like me—to feast my… More»

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Posted in Art, Paintings

Jacques-Louis David, Political Artist

Suzanne Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau, Jacques-Louis David, 1804

Today is  the 262nd birthday of Jacques-Louis David, the French painter best known for his austere Neoclassical paintings such as Oath of the Horatii. David was as political an artist as ever lived. He was a leader of the French… More»

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      Whose Values?, a collaborative project between Barbara Kruger and local high school students, asks some big questions. Here’s what our visitors have been saying.

      What do you think? Justice for whom?

      07/30/15

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