manuscripts conservation

Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books, Voices

Getty Voices: Living with the St. Albans Psalter

Conservator's hands holding the parchment of the St. Albans Psalter
Artwork: Dombibliothek Hildesheim. Photo: Peter Kidd

Studying a precious manuscript, page by page, illumination by illumination. 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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