Posted in Art

Struck by Lightning at the Louvre

Crowds throng the Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum, Paris
Today's Louvre—glorious crowds and all. It was different in 1969. Photo: Gabriel Cabreira, CC BY-ND 2.0

Sometimes the best way to discover your life’s work is by simple good luck. More»

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Posted in Art, Getty Research Institute, Paintings, Research

Treasures from the Vault: The Man of La Belle Ferronière

Image 5_The London Illustrated_July 18 1931_1

A fake Leonardo? The scandalous court case of art dealer Joseph Duveen. More»

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Posted in Education

Peter Plagens Answers Your Questions [VIDEO]

Peter Plagens
Peter Plagens: Ask him anything

More videos: • Has Los Angeles’s ecology of evil improved? • Are Huffington Post bloggers “volunteer slaves”? • What do you think about the dismantling of the Barnes Foundation? On Monday we put out a call on Facebook and Twitter… More»

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Posted in Art, Paintings

In Need of a Géricault “Fix”

Portrait Study for The Raft of the Medusa, Théodore Géricault, 1818–19

Even though it’s been more than a decade, I remember it as though it were yesterday. Like so many art history students, I made my first pilgrimage to the Louvre—tantamount to mecca for an art nerd like me—to feast my… More»

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      The Queen Who Wasn’t

      Louis XIV clandestinely wed his mistress, Madame de Maintenon, at Versailles on October 9 or 10, 1683. The marriage was much gossiped about but never openly acknowledged. She was never queen.

      Madame de Maintenon had been the {judgy} governess to Louis XIV’s children by his previous mistress, Madame de Montespan. Louis gave these children moneyed titles—such as the comte de Toulouse, who ordered the tapestries shown here for his residence outside Paris.

      Louis’s secret marriage ushered in a period of religious fervor, in sharp contrast to the light-hearted character of his early reign. Madame de Maintenon was known for her Catholic piety, and founded a school for the education of impoverished noble girls at Saint-Cyr in 1686 that stayed in operation until 1793. This engraving of the Virgin and Child was dedicated to her by the king.

      Virgin and Child, late 1600s, Jean-Louis Roullet after Pierre Mignard; Johann Ulrich Stapf, engraver. The Getty Research Institute. Tapestries from the Emperor of China series. The J. Paul Getty Museum


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