Middle Ages

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

Sicily, The International Island

The Crucifixion and the Harrowing of Hell / Sicilian
The Crucifixion and the Harrowing of Hell in a New Testament, Sicilian, late 1100s. Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment, 9 11/16 x 6 3/8 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. Ludwig I 5, fol. 191v

Medieval Sicily was a hotbed of political turmoil and artistic innovation. More»

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Posted in Art, Conservation, Getty Conservation Institute, Manuscripts and Books, Paintings

What Do Rocks Have to Do with Renaissance Art?

jerome_azurite_featured

Why the manuscript illuminations in Florence at the Dawn of the Renaissance really rock. More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Getty Foundation, Paintings, Philanthropy

Conserving Pacino di Bonaguida: My Getty Foundation Fellowship

Madonna and Child with Saints / Pacino

The Panel Paintings Initiative is training the next generation of conservators of paintings on wood panels, and including professionals from Eastern Europe is a high priority. In this post, Polish conservator Aleksandra Hola describes her experience with the program. For… More»

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

On the 12 Days of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me…

A Partridge (detail)/from a bestiary
A Partridge (detail) in a bestiary, about 1270. Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment, 7 ½ x 5 5/8 in. (19.1 x 14.3 cm). The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. Ludwig XV 3, fol. 38v

Illuminated manuscripts are one of my true loves, and as a treat for the 12 days of Christmas, I’d like to share just a few of the glorious things that my true love gave to me this year. On the… More»

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

Christmas Adventures, from Silver Screen to Gilded Page

Alistair Sim as Scrooge repents his selfish ways in the 1951 movie version of A Christmas Carol
Scrooge repents his selfish ways in the 1951 movie version of A Christmas Carol. Courtesy of United Artists

I love Christmas movies, from the moment when Natalie Wood is stunned by Santa Claus speaking Dutch in Miracle on 34th Street to Rudolph setting off with Hermey the dentist in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. One of my other great… More»

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

Slaving Over a Hot Medieval Stove

Baking Bread / Unknown illuminator, Belgium
Baking Bread (detail) in a psalter by an unknown illuminator, Belgium, mid-1200s. Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment, each leaf 9 1/4 x 6 1/2 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 14, fol. 8v

If cooking for a crowd seems like hard work today, imagine what it must have been like in the Middle Ages, before the advent of electricity, indoor plumbing, or take-out. Two illuminations from a psalter (book of Psalms) offer a… More»

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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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      Hiss is a snake bracelet from the 1st century A.D.

      Designed to look like a coil around the wearer, this would have been worn in a pair on the wrist or upper arm. A tinier head appears coming from the snake’s tail. Look closely.

      Snake Bracelet, A.D. 1 - 100, Romano-Egyptian. J. Paul Getty Museum.

      09/02/14

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