Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Dear “Woman in Blue,” Let Me Tell You Of…


“You will be forgotten. Your image, however, will be immortal. Through it, you will travel far—not by horse and cart, or merchant ship, but through the sky…” More»

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Posted in Art, Behind the Scenes, Paintings, Voices

Getty Voices: The Power of Vermeer


Vermeer’s newly arrived Woman in Blue Reading a Letter seems calmly at home in our galleries—but introduces a distinctive new presence. More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Write the Opening Line to Vermeer’s “Lady in Blue”

Detail of woman's face and letter in Woman in Blue Reading a Letter / Vermeer
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. On loan from the City of Amsterdam (A. van der Hoop Bequest)

What do you imagine the first line of this letter might say? Share your ideas, and we’ll continue the story. More»

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Posted in Art, Paintings, Photographs, Film, and Video, Prints and Drawings

Dogs Behaving Badly

A Merry Company / Jacob Jordaens
A Merry Company, about 1644, Jacob Jordaens. Watercolor and white gouache heightening over black chalk. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2000.59

Most dogs are impeccably well behaved—in art, anyway. They sit quietly on laps, raise a paw for their beloved master, or contort themselves into perfect S curves. The king of Old Master dogs is Guercino’s heroic mastiff, who looks like… More»

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    • Polo and Fishing Fore-Edge Painting


      These idyllic fore-edge paintings come from Mary Grey Lundie Duncan’s book entitled Memoir of Mrs. Mary Lundie Duncan: Being Recollection of a Daughter by Her Mother, third edition, published in 1846. After her daughter’s untimely death at 25, Mary Grey Lundie Duncan recorded her daughter’s life and her hymns. Mary Lundie Duncan wrote hymns for her children, most notably “Jesus, tender Shepherd, hear me” and “My Saviour, be Thou near me.”

      As with an earlier post that focused on fore-edge paintings, the art added to books by owners do not always match the subject matter. It’s unclear when the art was added, but polo and fly fishing do not seem to have much of a relationship to the young life of a devout Scottish woman.

      There is more to this book. It was donated to the library by Mr. and Mrs. Herman Brown in memory of their friend Florence Rice “Floy” Rodman Barnhardt. She was born in Minnesota and died in Houston, TX. Her husband, Gen. George Columbus Barnhardt, commanded the 28th Infantry Division in World War I. She and her husband are buried in United States Military Academy Post Cemetery at West Point. The relationship between Floy Rodman Barnhardt and the Browns is unknown, but it must have been close.

      Thanks to our new archival assistant, Alicia Fan, for making the gifs.

      Sources consulted: Mary Lundie Duncan hymns, Minister Henry Duncan, Find a Grave: Florence Rice “Floy” Rodman Barnhardt, and Find a Grave: Gen. George Columbus Barnhardt.

      Fore-edge paintings are fore-ever awesome.


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