medieval art

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

Fashion According to the Pope: Short Tunics for Him and Fabulous Jewelry for Her

The Emperor Sigismund Arriving in Siena / French, about 1460-70

The current exhibition Fashion in the Middles Ages, closing Sunday, August 14, examines costumes in the pages of medieval manuscripts. At times, the clothing seen in manuscript illuminations reflected the actual styles and fabrics of the Middle Ages—but at others,… More»

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

The Medieval Clotheshorse: Roger Wieck on the Fashion Revolution of the Middle Ages

Philosophy Presenting the Seven Liberal Arts to Boethius (detail), miniature in a French manuscript of The Consolation of Philosophy attributed to the Coëtivy Master, about 1460–70
Philosophy Presenting the Seven Liberal Arts to Boethius (detail), miniature in a French manuscript of The Consolation of Philosophy attributed to the Coëtivy Master, about 1460–70

A “fashion revolution” in the Middle Ages? Yes, says art historian Roger Wieck, curator of Illuminating Fashion: Dress in the Art of Medieval France and the Netherlands at the Morgan Library. Just as art was changing with the dawn of… More»

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

The Buddha in Medieval Europe?

Left: Crowned Buddha, Cambodian, Angkor period, 1100s, bronze. National Museum of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. Right: King Avenir and Josaphat in Conversation (detail) in Barlaam and Josaphat, Follower of Hans Schilling, 1469. The J. Paul Getty Museum, MS. LUDWIG XV 9, fol. 320v

What does a 12th-century bronze sculpture from Cambodia have in common with a 15th-century manuscript from Germany?  Both, surprisingly, relate to the story of the Buddha. The exhibition Gods of Angkor: Bronzes from the National Museum of Cambodia is displayed… 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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