Question of the Week

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

Question of the Week: Is It Better for a Leader to Be Loved, or Feared?

Bust of Emperor Caracalla, Bartolomeo Cavaceppi, Italian, Rome, about 1750–70. Marble, 28 in. high

Question of the Week is a series inspired by our Masterpiece of the Week tours, offered daily at 4:00 p.m. Featuring an open and upbeat discussion among visitors and gallery teachers, the tours feature a new object and pose a… More»

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

Question of the Week: Fake vs. Real—Does It Matter?

Cabinet, French, 1580 - details of the wood carving and metal ornaments

Question of the Week is a series inspired by our Masterpiece of the Week tours, offered daily at 4:00 p.m. Featuring an open and upbeat discussion among visitors and gallery teachers, the tours feature a new object and pose a… More»

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

Question of the Week: Is Beauty A Curse?

Plate with the Abduction of Helen / Francesco Xanto Avelli

Question of the Week is a new blog series inspired by our Masterpiece of the Week tours, offered daily at the Getty Center at 4:00 p.m. Featuring an open and upbeat discussion among visitors and gallery teachers, the tours feature… More»

Also tagged , , , , , , , , , 14 Responses
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      #ThyCaptionBe: Warnings to the Rich & Powerful

      You captioned this detail. And we’re revealing the full story now.

      It would be awesome if this was Medieval hangman, or a really awkward frat party, but it’s actually the result of a one-letter swap gone wrong in a book about the fates of the rich. 

      Here’s the full story:

      You sometimes regret what pops out unexpectedly when you open your mouth, but in this case, even the fish must have been quite surprised when a wooly lamb burst forth. 

      The stories in this text by Giovanni Boccaccio warn of the terrible fate that often awaits the rich and powerful. He uses here the example of King Polycrates, who tossed a ring into a river, hoping for good luck, and found it later in the mouth of a fish. 

      Someone got confused, though, and instead of a ring (in French, annel), what came out instead was a lamb (agnel). Apparently, neither the ring nor the lamb worked because the king was later hanged (background).

      #ThyCaptionBe is a celebration of modern interpretations of medieval aesthetics. You guess what the heck is going on, then we myth-bust.

      08/31/15

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