Peirene

Posted in Antiquities, Architecture and Design, Getty Foundation, Philanthropy, Publications

Unlocking the Secrets of an Ancient Fountain

“Mudmen” pose in front of Chambers I and II at Peirene, on or about July 6, 1909

Do you picture archaeological sites as dry, dusty piles of stones? Meet Peirene, an ancient Greek ruin so tantalizing that archaeologists have literally died for it. Dry and dusty this place is not. The story of the alluring ruin is… 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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