Leda and the Swan

Posted in Antiquities, Behind the Scenes, Education, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Imagine a Teenager’s Museum

Teenage apprentices discuss the Roman marble of Leda and the Swan in the Temple of Herakles at the Getty Villa

I have the pleasure of running the Getty Villa Teen Apprentice Program (ViTA). Each year our goal is to open the museum from top to bottom to young people interested in the arts and introduce them to the variety 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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