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Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Beyond the First Impression: Rediscovering Monet in Paris

The Portal of Rouen Cathedral in Morning Light, Claude Monet, 1894
The Portal of Rouen Cathedral in Morning Light, Claude Monet, 1894

Though his name has become synonymous with the 19th century’s canonical movement of Impressionism, and though his masterpieces hang proudly in the halls of the world’s finest museums, Claude Monet has long been—for me—a confounding artist. He was one of… 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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