hidden gems

Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Prints and Drawings

The Drawing That Once Hung in Thomas Jefferson’s Parlor

The Fright of Astyanax (Hector Bidding Farewell to Andromache), Benjamin West, 1797. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 84.GG.722
The Fright of Astyanax (Hector Bidding Farewell to Andromache), Benjamin West, 1797. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 84.GG.722

An American has slipped his way into exclusive British company—the exhibition Luminous Paper: British Watercolors and Drawings, opening July 19. Owned for years by Thomas Jefferson, admirer of all things classical, this pen-and-ink by Pennsylvania-born artist Benjamin West depicts a… More»

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

Hidden Gems of the Collection: Paintings That Keep Us Guessing

Head of a Woman / Michael Sweerts
Head of a Woman / Michael Sweerts

We continue our look at intriguing but lesser-known works from the Getty’s collection with two more off-the-beaten-path tips from Museum educators. In a previous post we looked at three relief sculptures; now we turn to two lovingly detailed paintings that… More»

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

Hidden Gems of the Collection: Reliefs

Carved Relief / Parent

We’ve asked our Museum educators, who work in the galleries and get to know the art as intimate friends, to let us in on lesser-known objects they especially love—and that we ought to explore. First up are three relief sculptures… More»

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      ROSE

      This milky pink boomed into popularity because of a marketing ploy, a mistress, and its ambiguous origins.

      In an effort to compete with the renowned Meissen porcelain factory, the French Sèvres manufactory recruited the glamorous Madame de Pompadour (mistress to King Louis XV). Like a smart sponsorship deal, Sèvres gave her all the porcelain she requested. 

      Introduced in 1757, this rich pink exploded on the scene thanks to favoritism by Madame Pompadour herself. 

      The glaze itself had a weird history. To the Europeans it looked Chinese, and to the Chinese it was European. It was made based on a secret 17th-century glassmaker’s technique, involving mixing glass with flecks of gold.

      For more on colors and their often surprising histories, check out The Brilliant History of Color in Art.

      12/19/14

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