Mary Roberts

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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      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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