funerary art

Posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Getty Villa

Which Hero Would You Choose for Your Coffin?

Sarcophagus with Scenes from the Life of Achilles / Roman
Sarcophagus with Scenes from the Life of Achilles, A.D. 180–220, Roman. Marble. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 95.AA.80

Three great heroes with equally great flaws. More»

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Posted in Art, Getty Villa

Are Westerners Weird about Death?

19th-century mummy, Burgio, Sicily (detail)
Photo courtesy of and © Paul Koudounaris

“After the Enlightenment, we made a very determined effort to ghettoize the dead.” More»

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Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum

Day Without Art: Reflecting on Art, Fragility, and Loss

Gravestone of Sime, Greek, about 320 B.C.

The frailty of the human condition—and the cruelty of untimely loss of life—is one of art’s oldest and most enduring themes. Every year on December 1, we’ve reflected on this theme for Day Without Art, an international day of observance… More»

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      The Queen Who Wasn’t

      Louis XIV clandestinely wed his mistress, Madame de Maintenon, at Versailles on October 9 or 10, 1683. The marriage was much gossiped about but never openly acknowledged. She was never queen.

      Madame de Maintenon had been the {judgy} governess to Louis XIV’s children by his previous mistress, Madame de Montespan. Louis gave these children moneyed titles—such as the comte de Toulouse, who ordered the tapestries shown here for his residence outside Paris.

      Louis’s secret marriage ushered in a period of religious fervor, in sharp contrast to the light-hearted character of his early reign. Madame de Maintenon was known for her Catholic piety, and founded a school for the education of impoverished noble girls at Saint-Cyr in 1686 that stayed in operation until 1793. This engraving of the Virgin and Child was dedicated to her by the king.

      Virgin and Child, late 1600s, Jean-Louis Roullet after Pierre Mignard; Johann Ulrich Stapf, engraver. The Getty Research Institute. Tapestries from the Emperor of China series. The J. Paul Getty Museum


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