grand manner

Posted in Art, Behind the Scenes, Getty Research Institute, Research

Recovering Lost History in Le Brun’s Prints

Crossing of the Granicus, Gérard Audran after Charles Le Brun, 1672. The Getty Research Institute, 2003.PR.33

In 2003 the Getty Research Institute acquired hundreds of 17th-century French prints that had been in the collection of a European noble family. This family had systematically, over hundreds of years, amassed an incredibly important collection of Old Master prints,… More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Research Institute

The Rise and Fall of Charles Le Brun: Q&A with Louis Marchesano

louis_marchesano_2

I talked to Louis Marchesano, curator of prints and drawings at the Getty Research Institute, about the exhibition Printing the Grand Manner: Charles Le Brun and Monumental Prints in the Age of Louis XIV, now on view at the GRI—how… 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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