mummies

Posted in Art, Getty Villa

Are Westerners Weird about Death?

19th-century mummy, Burgio, Sicily (detail)
Photo courtesy of and © Paul Koudounaris

“After the Enlightenment, we made a very determined effort to ghettoize the dead.” More»

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Posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Power in a Mummy Portrait

Mummy Portrait of Isidora / Isidora Master
Mummy Portrait of a Woman (detail), about A.D. 100–110, attributed to the Isidora Master. Linen, pigment, and gold; encaustic on wood, 18 7/8 x 14 3/16. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 81.AP.42

This woman is still beautiful and self-assured, 2,000 years after her portrait was painted. More»

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Posted in Education, Getty Villa

Mummy Magic at the Getty Villa

Visitors to the Getty Villa at a tour focusing on the mummy of Herakleides

“Take a look at Herakleides. What do you see?” My tour group gathers around Herakleides, the Romano-Egyptian mummy in the Getty Museum’s collection, taking their first good peek at the 2,000-year-old body beneath the glass case. The motifs of ancient… More»

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      #ProvenancePeek: July 31

      Every art object has a story—not only of how it was made, but of how it changed hands over time until it found its current home. That story is provenance.

      This small panel by Dutch master Gerrit Dou (photographed only in black and white) is now in the collection of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. It was sold to American collector Robert Sterling Clark, an heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune, in the summer of 1922.

      How do we know this? Archival sleuthing! A peek into the handwritten stock books of M. Knoedler & Co. (book 7, page 10, row 40, to be exact) records the Dou in “July 1922” (right page, margin). Turning to the sales books, which lists dates and prices, we again find the painting under the heading “New York July 1922,” with its inventory number 14892. A tiny “31” in superscript above Clark’s name indicates the date the sale was recorded.

      M. Knoedler was one of the most influential dealers in the history of art, selling European paintings to collectors whose collections formed the genesis of great U.S. museums. The Knoedler stock books have recently been digitized and transformed into a searchable database, which anyone can query for free.

      Girl at a Window, 1623–75, Gerrit Dou. Oil on panel, 10 9/16 x 7 ½ in. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts


      #ProvenancePeek is a monthly series by research assistant Kelly Davis peeking into #onthisday provenance finds from the M. Knoedler & Co. archives at the Getty Research Institute.

      07/31/15

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