Getty Research Portal

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Digitizing Photography Incunabula

Title page of Allen S. Heath: Photography: A new treatise, theoretical and practical…, New York 1855. At left, A Portrait of Sir Humphrey Davy. The First Experimenter in Photography, before 1855, by O. Sackersdorff
Title page of Allen S. Heath: Photography: A new treatise, theoretical and practical…, New York 1855. At left, A Portrait of Sir Humphrey Davy. The First Experimenter in Photography, before 1855, by O. Sackersdorff

Some of the world’s earliest photographically illustrated books are being digitized by the Getty Research Institute. More»

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Posted in Getty Research Institute, Publications, Scholarship, technology

Walking through the Getty Research Portal

Screen capture of the Getty Research Portal, showing how to enter a query

Today the Getty Research Institute launches the Getty Research PortalTM, an unprecedented resource that will provide broad, free access to digitized texts in the field of art and architectural history. The Getty Research Portal is a free online search gateway… 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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