letters

Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Dear “Woman in Blue,” Let Me Tell You Of…

vemeer_writing_steve_featured

“You will be forgotten. Your image, however, will be immortal. Through it, you will travel far—not by horse and cart, or merchant ship, but through the sky…” More»

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

Write the Opening Line to Vermeer’s “Lady in Blue”

Detail of woman's face and letter in Woman in Blue Reading a Letter / Vermeer
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. On loan from the City of Amsterdam (A. van der Hoop Bequest)

What do you imagine the first line of this letter might say? Share your ideas, and we’ll continue the story. More»

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      It’s been 125 years since Van Gogh’s death, today we celebrate his life’s work.


      5 Ways to See Van Gogh’s Irises

      Through observations, visitor conversations, and some sneaky eavesdropping, we’ve compiled the top 5 ways people enjoy this painting.

      1. In a Crowd
        One of the most obvious ways that people see the painting is in a crowd. The gallery is almost always filled, and you might have to wait before you can get up close. The anticipation builds as you start in the back row, and slowly move until you are close enough to see the brushstrokes of Van Gogh’s thick paint.

      2. Online
        David from Colorado said that this was his first visit, but he had already seen the painting online. In addition to being available through the Getty’s Open Content program, the painting is often seen on social media. Just search #irises on Instagram for a taste of the painting’s popularity. 

      3. Alone
        If you arrive right at 10 a.m. when the museum opens, the quiet gallery provides a perfect backdrop to really examine the painting. Solitude and seclusion gives the gallery a sense of intimacy. 

      4. Multiple Times
        Repeat visits can give rise to multiple interpretations. Is it a melancholy or joyous painting? Expressive or depressive? 

      5. Internationally
        Visitors from all across the world viewed this famous Van Gogh. In just one hour you can hear multiple languages—French, Italian, Chinese, Korean, German, and more. Irises seems to rise above cultural boundaries—a Dutch painting inspired by Japanese ukiyo-e prints—to strike an emotional resonance amongst all viewers. 

      What is your favorite lens to view Van Gogh’s work through? 

      07/29/15

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