National Archaeological Museum

Posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Art, Conservation

(Re)Discovering Tiberius

Statue of Tiberius
Statue of Tiberius, Roman, 1st century A.D. Bronze, 96 7/8 in. (246 cm) high. Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei - Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Laboratorio di Conservazione e Restauro

Newly cleaned and conserved at the Getty Villa, this monumental Roman statue will go on view October 16. More»

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Posted in Antiquities, Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Apollo’s Drapery: An Unfolding Puzzle

Antiquities conservator Erik Risser working on the Apollo’s drapery in the Conservation Studio at the Getty Villa

A new exhibition opening at the Getty Villa, Apollo from Pompeii: Investigating an Ancient Bronze, marks the completion of an 18-month conservation project that developed in collaboration with the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples. The exhibition presents the different aspects… More»

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      gettypubs:

      COBALT

      The histories of many colors are amazing, but cobalt may well have the most brilliant of them all. From the Ming Dynasty to Renaissance Italy, cobalt was a popular glaze for porcelain and other ceramics. Cobalt ink is invisible unless exposed to flame, which turns it a vivid green. In the 17th century, this quality made Europeans believe it was witchcraft, but decades later it was used as a neat trick on fire screens. It wasn’t until 1802 that painters added cobalt to their palette. 

      It is this little tidbit from cobalt’s history that saved master forger Han van Meergeren’s skin after WWII, when he was tried for collaborating with the Nazis. Want to find out how some art history sleuthing and smart science got him a not guilty verdict? Hint: Don’t try to forge a Vermeer with cobalt! 

      Read all about it in The Brilliant History of Color in Art!

      Images, clockwise:

      Glazed earthenware dish with a marchant ship, Italy, about 1510. 

      Glazed earthenware tile floor, Spain, about 1425-50.

      Porcelain lidded vase, China, about 1662-1772.

      All objects from the J. Paul Getty Museum. 

      12/18/14

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