Masterpiece of the Week

Posted in Education, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Question of the Week: What Makes a Painting a Masterpiece?

Disegno and Colore, Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri), about 1640. Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. Photo © Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden

What makes a painting a masterwork? Take part in this historic debate about the elements of line and color, as personified by a wise, old man and a sensuous young woman in Guercino’s Disegno and Colore. Italian draftsman and painter… More»

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Posted in Art, Education, J. Paul Getty Museum

Question of the Week: Demure or Coquettish? Revealing or Concealing?

Bust of Madame Recamier, Joseph Chinard, about 1801–1802. Terracotta, 24 7/8 in. high. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 88.SC.42

Can an artist do justice to a beautiful woman? This sensuous terracotta bust by Joseph Chinard captures the elegance and grace of legendary beauty Juliette Récamier, a socialite renowned for her wit and notorious for her love affairs. Holding a… More»

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Posted in Art, Education, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Question of the Week: Is the Viewer Part of an Artwork?

Entrance to the Jardin Turc, Louis-Léopold Boilly, 1812. Oil on canvas, 28 7/8 x 35 7/8 in.

More than 60 people sit, chat, and play in this elaborate composition outside the entrance to the Jardin Turc, or Turkish Garden Café, in early-1800s Paris. The café was known for its spacious gardens, exotic pavilions, and excellent ice cream,… More»

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Posted in Art, Education, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Question of the Week: Does Art Have to Be Serious?

Self-Portrait, Yawning, Joseph Ducreux, before 1783. Oil on canvas, 45 x 35 in.

Nowadays, seeing a silly picture of a person is hardly unusual. Showing personality is a good thing. Social customs weren’t quite the same in 18th-century France, when Joseph Ducreux painted this self-portrait. An official court painter, he was known for refined… More»

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Posted in Art, Education, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Question of the Week: Fake vs. Real—Does It Matter?

Cabinet, French, 1580 - details of the wood carving and metal ornaments

Question of the Week is a series inspired by our Masterpiece of the Week tours, offered daily at 4:00 p.m. Featuring an open and upbeat discussion among visitors and gallery teachers, the tours feature a new object and pose a… More»

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Posted in Art, Education, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Question of the Week: Is Beauty A Curse?

Plate with the Abduction of Helen / Francesco Xanto Avelli

Question of the Week is a new blog series inspired by our Masterpiece of the Week tours, offered daily at the Getty Center at 4:00 p.m. Featuring an open and upbeat discussion among visitors and gallery teachers, the tours feature… 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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