medieval art

Posted in Art, Manuscripts and Books, Publications

Illuminating the End of Time

Page from Illuminating the End of Time from Getty Publications

2012 was the year proclaimed as the end of time by Mayan hieroglyphs, extra-terrestrial communicators, and bad disaster movies. The Getty Apocalypse, a medieval manuscript of the biblical Book of Revelation recently published as a facsimile by Getty Publications, suggests… More»

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

The Manuscript Files: Medieval Children’s Games

Initial C: The Massacre of the Innocents in a breviary / French

The current exhibition Gothic Grandeur abounds with images in the margin. These charming and often humorous additions, called marginalia (Latin for “things in the margins”), were introduced to manuscript illumination during the Gothic era. In the lower border of this… More»

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

The Manuscript Files: A Demon Whispering Sweet Nothings

Detail of Initial D: The Fool with Two Demons / Master of the Ingeborg Psalter

One of my favorite details from the current exhibition Gothic Grandeur comes from a French psalter of the early 1200s. A hallmark of Gothic art was an increasing sensitivity to the natural world, which led not only to a new… More»

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

The Manuscript Files: A Medieval Holiday Message

A nativity scene in the Abbey Bible / Italian

On the opening page of the Abbey Bible, the first image we encounter is this roundel containing a scene of the Nativity of Christ. According to Christian tradition, late in her pregnancy Mary traveled with Joseph to Bethlehem for a… More»

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

The Manuscript Files: A Medieval Marilyn?

Detail of Saint John the Evangelist Writing / German
Saint John the Evangelist Writing, German, about 1340–50. Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment, 17 7/8 x 12 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 108, verso

The luxuriant locks sported by this medieval figure might seem to say more “Marilyn Monroe” than “Saint John.” Both he and the movie star sport hairstyles from the glamorous ‘40s—in the saint’s case, the 1340s. In the Middle Ages, it… More»

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Posted in Art, Behind the Scenes, Getty Center

A Devilish Artwork for Halloween

Saint Anthony with demons in Polyptych with Coronation of the Virgin and Saints / Cenni di Francesco di Ser Cenni
Saint Anthony with demons in Polyptych with Coronation of the Virgin and Saints by Cenni di Francesco di Ser Cenni, about 1390s. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 71.PB.31

Here’s an artwork from our collection that makes me squeal…with terror! The multicolored demons attacking my pal Saint Anthony are hooves down the scariest creatures around. The blue devil is a total gangster. He bullied his way onto our new… More»

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

See the Book That Was Kept in Storage for 800 Years

Stammheim Missal on display in the Getty Museum galleries

One of the most exciting aspects of curatorial work is the privilege of bringing you great works of art that were rarely seen before their acquisition by the museum. Case in point: the Stammheim Missal, one of the greatest manuscripts… More»

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

Far from Marginal: Images in the Margins of the Abbey Bible

Dominican and Franciscan Friars Singing at Lecterns, Conducted by Christ in the Abbey Bible / Italian

We use the word “marginal” to dismiss something as unimportant or trivial. But images in the margins of medieval books are so important they get their own name, marginalia, a Latin term that simply means “things in the margins.” Sometimes… More»

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Posted in Art, Getty Center, J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books

Have You Seen an Illuminated Manuscript Lately?

The Flight into Egypt / French
The Flight into Egypt, French, about 1420-1430, tempera colors, gold paint, gold leaf, and silver paint on parchment. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 19, fol. 59

The Getty Center is one of few places in the United States where you can see medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts year-round. With three or four exhibitions per year drawn almost exclusively from the permanent collection, in addition to major international… More»

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

Tights, A Medieval Fashion Faux Pas, Return!

The Competition in Sittacene and the Placating of Sisigambis / Attributed to the Master of the Jardin de vertueuse consolation

For over a year now, a fashion trend from medieval Europe—once reserved for men of elite social standing—has been resurrected and adopted by women, causing some fashionistas to cringe. Tights are back. In mid-15th-century England, a law restricted the wearing… More»

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