Posted in Art, Getty Villa

Are Westerners Weird about Death?

19th-century mummy, Burgio, Sicily (detail)
Photo courtesy of and © Paul Koudounaris

“After the Enlightenment, we made a very determined effort to ghettoize the dead.” More»

Also tagged , , , , 4 Responses
Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books

Sicily, The International Island

The Crucifixion and the Harrowing of Hell / Sicilian
The Crucifixion and the Harrowing of Hell in a New Testament, Sicilian, late 1100s. Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment, 9 11/16 x 6 3/8 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. Ludwig I 5, fol. 191v

Medieval Sicily was a hotbed of political turmoil and artistic innovation. More»

Also tagged , , , , , , 1 Response
Posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Voices

Getty Voices: Sicilian Journeys

Sicily: Art and Invention between Greece and Rome at the Getty Villa
Artwork reproduced by permission of the Regione Siciliana, Assessorato dei Beni Culturali e dell'Identità Siciliana. Dipartimento dei Beni Culturali e dell'Identità Siciliana

A charioteer? A dancer? The Mozia Youth, aguably one of the world’s most breathtaking ancient sculptures, is both mysterious and beautiful. More»

Also tagged , , , , , , , 6 Responses
Posted in Antiquities, Architecture and Design, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Ancient Sicilian Coins: Miniature Masterpieces, Full-Scale Challenges

Coin with Nike Driving a Four-Horse Chariot
Royal Library of Belgium—Coin Cabinet

The designer of the Sicily exhibition at the Getty Villa reveals the challenges of displaying small, double-sided, intricate objects—coins. More»

Also tagged , , , , , 7 Responses
Posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

An Ancient Curse Revealed

Curse Tablet / found in Morgantina, Sicily
Curse Tablet, about 100 B.C., found in Morgantina, Sicily. Lead, 3 11/16 x 1 13/16 in. (9.4 x 4.6 cm). Museo Archeologico Regionale of Aidone

One small but powerful object stands out among the artifacts excavated from the ancient city of Morgantina in central Sicily, now on loan to the Getty Villa from the Museo Archeologico Regionale of Aidone and on view in Gallery 104…. More»

Also tagged , , , , , 2 Responses
Posted in Antiquities, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

A Close Look at the Agrigento Youth

Statue of a Kouros (The Agrigento Youth), Greek, about 480 B.C., Museo Archeologico Regionale, Agrigento, Sicily. Photo © Angelo Pitrone

The Agrigento Youth, a Greek sculpture carved almost exactly 2,500 years ago, is wintering at the Getty Villa. It’s the second work from the Museo Archeologico Regionale in Agrigento, Sicily, to visit the Villa on loan, following the Gela Krater,… More»

Also tagged , , , , , , , 1 Response
  • Facebook

  • Twitter

  • Tumblr

    • photo from Tumblr

      #ThyCaptionBe: You Look Like Hell

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

      Escaping the in-laws or medieval Sea World? It’s actually an extreme punishment for a dress code violation. 

      Here’s the full story:

      The Christian tale of Saint Josaphat is roughly based on the life of the Buddha in a kind of medieval game of telephone, in which the sources for the text passed through Christian circles in the Middle East in the 8th century before appearing in European versions in the 11th century. 

      Here an unsuitably dressed guest—we can see that his tattered clothing and scruffy facial hair have no place at the well-dressed gathering—is cast into the dark, open mouth of a terrifying animal. 

      To make matters worse, the story is a parable in which Barlaam, Josaphat’s Christian teacher, describes the sinful who do not make the cut at the Last Judgment.

      Holiday Lesson: Always check the dress code.

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


  • Flickr