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Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Objects and Memories: Edmund de Waal on Tracing a Family Collection

Albert Cahen d’Anvers, Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1881. The J. Paul Getty Museum. The portrait was sold by the Cahen d’Anvers family to a Swiss gallery in 1971.

When you visit a museum, it’s easy to forget that objects have a story, a journey from where they began to where they are now. Take Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s portrait of the composer Albert Cahen d’Anvers. It’s one of the most… 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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