Jean-Léon Gérôme

Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Center, Photographs, Film, and Video

Jean-Léon Gérôme, from “Gladiator” to “The Matrix”

detail_gladiator1

“Gérôme forged narrative practices that would take the cinema decades to invent,” art historian Marc Gotlieb told a packed auditorium recently in a discussion of The Spectacular Art of Jean-Léon Gérôme, which closes this Sunday. Really? How could a 19th-century… More»

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Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings, Photographs, Film, and Video

Rethinking Orientalism, Again

Les Femmes du Maroc: Revisited #1, Lalla Essaydi, 2009, chromogenic print. Image courtesy the artist

It’s been 27 years since art historian Linda Nochlin published her essay “The Imaginary Orient,” a critique of sexist and racist depictions of “brown and black folk” by Western artists such as Jean-Léon Gérôme. Back then, “I was put off… More»

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Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Paintings

Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down? Looking at Gérôme’s “Pollice Verso”

Pollice Verso: Detail of vestal virgins in the stands / Gerome

Visitors are captivated by The Spectacular Art of Jean-Léon Gérôme.  I met a couple from Miami who were so intrigued by a review of the exhibition in The Art Newspaper that they decided to fly to L.A. to see it. … More»

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Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Paintings, Photographs, Film, and Video

What Do Jean-Léon Gérôme and Don Draper Have in Common?

Optician's Sign (Opticien), Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1902. Oil on canvas, 34 1/4 x 26 in. Private Collection

You might have a hard time answering that question as you first stroll through the galleries of the exhibition The Spectacular Art of Jean-Léon Gérôme. But as you exit the hall featuring Gérôme’s later works, the answer lies before you… More»

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Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Center, Paintings, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Naked or Nude? Gérôme’s Provocative Bodies

snake_charmer

During a tour of the new exhibition The Spectacular Art of Jean-Léon Gérôme, curator Mary Morton stopped in front of Gérôme’s Snake Charmer and asked the audience, “What do you see?” Murmurs spread through the crowd. One brave little girl… More»

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Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Paintings, Photographs, Film, and Video

Enchantresses on Film

Alla Nazimova as Salome. Photo: United Artists / Photofest

The films we screen at the Getty go hand in hand with the art on view. Curating film series related to exhibitions is exciting, but it can also be challenging. How, for example, do you plan a movie event around… More»

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      All Hail Tiberius, Least Media-Savvy of the Roman Emperors

      Tiberius was proclaimed Roman emperor on September 17 in AD 14, exactly 2,000 years ago.

      He was also a bit idiosyncratic. “He was the least media-savvy emperor you could imagine,” says curator David Saunders, who has been in charge of this bronze portrait of Tiberius which leaves us on September 22. He point to this description found in the writings of Cassius Dio:

      Tiberius was a patrician of good education, but he had a most peculiar nature. He never let what he desired appear in his conversation, and what he said he wanted he usually did not desire at all. On the contrary, his words indicated the exact opposite of his real purpose; he denied all interest in what he longed for, and urged the claims of what he hated. He would exhibit anger over matters that were far from arousing his wrath, and make a show of affability where he was most vexed…In short, he thought it bad policy for the sovereign to reveal his thoughts; this was often the cause, he said, of great failures, whereas by the opposite course, far more and greater successes were attained.

      Moreover, David tells us, “Tiberius’s accession itself was a farrago: Tiberius sort-of feigning reluctance, the Senate bullying him, he being all, ‘Well, if-I-have-to,’ and in the end—according to Suetonius—saying he’ll do it as long as he can retire.”

      Suetonius is full of great, albeit spurious, anecdotes about poor old Tiberius, David reports. “When someone addressed him as ‘My Lord,’ it is said, Tiberius gave warning that no such insult should ever again be thrown at him.”

      Happy accession, My Lord!

      Portrait Head of Tiberius (“The Lansdowne Tiberius”), early 1st century A.D., Roman. The J. Paul Getty Museum

      Statue of Tiberius (detail), Roman, A.D. 37, Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei – Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Laboratorio di Conservazione e Restauro. Currently on view at the Getty Villa following conservation and study.

      09/17/14

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