illuminated manuscripts

Posted in Behind the Scenes, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum

How Do You Sing The Renaissance? Lionheart Does a Roaring Good Job

Pentecost in the Laudario of Sant'Agnese / Master of the Dominican Effigies

We’re welcoming Lionheart, one of America’s leading ensembles in vocal chamber music, for a concert this Saturday. Their performance of music from the early Renaissance complements the exhibition Florence at the Dawn of the Renaissance: Painting and Illumination, 1300-1350. The… More»

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Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum

Actor Peter Weller Discusses Renaissance Florence (and Answers Your Questions!)

Peter Weller in Padua
Actor Peter Weller in Padua, Italy

Actor and director Peter Weller is known for his many film and television roles, most famously Robocop in Paul Verhoeven’s campy classic. However, Weller’s interests go far beyond the camera—he is a scholar of Italian Renaissance art who is completing… More»

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Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books

Slaving Over a Hot Medieval Stove

Baking Bread / Unknown illuminator, Belgium
Baking Bread (detail) in a psalter by an unknown illuminator, Belgium, mid-1200s. Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment, each leaf 9 1/4 x 6 1/2 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 14, fol. 8v

If cooking for a crowd seems like hard work today, imagine what it must have been like in the Middle Ages, before the advent of electricity, indoor plumbing, or take-out. Two illuminations from a psalter (book of Psalms) offer a… More»

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

Meet the Artist Who Helped Launch the Renaissance in Florence

The Ascension of Christ from the Laudario of Sant’Agnese / Pacino di Bonaguida

In the early 1300s, 150 years before Leonardo and Michelangelo walked its streets, Florence was a hotbed of artistic production and creativity. Three works in the Getty Museum’s collection produced in the city at this dynamic moment—all by the same… More»

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

To Hell and Back: Dante’s Inferno in Art and Film

Filipo Argenti receiving his eternal torments in the River Styx (courtesy ©2007, Dante Film, LLC)

UPDATE: The screening of the 1911 film L’Inferno, scheduled for Saturday, June 23, at 3:00 p.m., has been cancelled. We apologize for the inconvenience. The other two films will screen as planned. The Museum’s Department of Manuscripts recently opened the… More»

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Posted in Art, Manuscripts and Books, Publications

Illuminating the End of Time

Page from Illuminating the End of Time from Getty Publications

2012 was the year proclaimed as the end of time by Mayan hieroglyphs, extra-terrestrial communicators, and bad disaster movies. The Getty Apocalypse, a medieval manuscript of the biblical Book of Revelation recently published as a facsimile by Getty Publications, suggests… More»

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

The Manuscript Files: An Impish Ape in a Medieval Zoo

Adam Naming the Animals in the Northumberland Bestiary / English

One of my favorite acquisitions of the past five years in the Getty’s manuscript collection is the Northumberland Bestiary (Ms. 100), featured currently in the Gothic Grandeur exhibition. A bestiary is a kind of medieval encyclopedia of animals. In addition… More»

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

The Manuscript Files: Dancing Your Way to the End of the World

The Lamb Defeating the Ten Kings / Spanish

The current exhibition Gothic Grandeur features a number of works illustrating the Apocalypse, the last book of the Bible that recounts Saint John’s vision of the end of time. This leaf comes from a manuscript of the 1200s made in… More»

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

The Manuscript Files: Medieval Children’s Games

Initial C: The Massacre of the Innocents in a breviary / French

The current exhibition Gothic Grandeur abounds with images in the margin. These charming and often humorous additions, called marginalia (Latin for “things in the margins”), were introduced to manuscript illumination during the Gothic era. In the lower border of this… More»

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

The Manuscript Files: A Demon Whispering Sweet Nothings

Detail of Initial D: The Fool with Two Demons / Master of the Ingeborg Psalter

One of my favorite details from the current exhibition Gothic Grandeur comes from a French psalter of the early 1200s. A hallmark of Gothic art was an increasing sensitivity to the natural world, which led not only to a new… More»

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      From you have I been absent in the spring,
      When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,
      Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,
      That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him,
      Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
      Of different flowers in odor and in hue,
      Could make me any summer’s story tell,
      Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew.
      Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,
      Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
      They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
      Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
      Yet seemed it winter still, and, you away,
      As with your shadow I with these did play.

      —William Shakespeare, born April 23, 1564

      Vase of Flowers (detail), 1722, Jan van Huysum. The J. Paul Getty Museum

      04/23/14

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