St. Albans Psalter

Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Manuscripts and Books

Art and Experience in Canterbury and L.A.

Installation view of Canterbury and St. Albans at the Getty Center
Inside Canterbury and St. Albans at the Getty Center. Pages from the St. Albans Psalter, foreground: Bibliothek Hildesheim. Stained-glass panels from the Ancestors of Christ Windows, Courtesy Dean and Chapter of Canterbury

A medieval prayer book was a personal liturgical space. Small and portable, one needed only to open the book to enter. More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Manuscripts and Books

An Illuminated Christmas

Detail of Christ and Mary from the Nativity in the St. Albans Psalter / Alexis Master
Dombibliothek Hildesheim

A nearly 900-year-old nativity scene, rendered in gold and jewel tones. More»

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Posted in Manuscripts and Books

The Medieval Battle That Launched Modern English

Scenes from the Life of Saint Alexis in the St. Albans Psalter / Alexis Master
Dombibliothek Hildesheim

English owes its rich vocabulary to a military conquest that took place 947 years ago. More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books, Voices

Getty Voices: Living with the St. Albans Psalter

Conservator's hands holding the parchment of the St. Albans Psalter
Artwork: Dombibliothek Hildesheim. Photo: Peter Kidd

Studying a precious manuscript, page by page, illumination by illumination. More»

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      All Hail Tiberius, Least Media-Savvy of the Roman Emperors

      Tiberius was proclaimed Roman emperor on September 17 in AD 14, exactly 2,000 years ago.

      He was also a bit wacko. “He was the least media-savvy emperor you could imagine,” says curator David Saunders, who has been in charge of this bronze portrait of Tiberius which leaves us on September 22. He point to this description found in the writings of Cassius Dio:

      Tiberius was a patrician of good education, but he had a most peculiar nature. He never let what he desired appear in his conversation, and what he said he wanted he usually did not desire at all. On the contrary, his words indicated the exact opposite of his real purpose; he denied all interest in what he longed for, and urged the claims of what he hated. He would exhibit anger over matters that were far from arousing his wrath, and make a show of affability where he was most vexed…In short, he thought it bad policy for the sovereign to reveal his thoughts; this was often the cause, he said, of great failures, whereas by the opposite course, far more and greater successes were attained.

      Moreover, David tells us, “Tiberius’s accession itself was a farrago: Tiberius sort-of feigning reluctance, the Senate bullying him, he being all, ‘Well, if-I-have-to,’ and in the end—according to Suetonius—saying he’ll do it as long as he can retire.”

      Suetonius is full of great, albeit spurious, anecdotes about poor old Tiberius, David reports. “When someone addressed him as ‘My Lord,’ it is said, Tiberius gave warning that no such insult should ever again be thrown at him.”

      Happy accession, My Lord!

      Portrait Head of Tiberius (“The Lansdowne Tiberius”), early 1st century A.D., Roman. The J. Paul Getty Museum

      Statue of Tiberius (detail), Roman, A.D. 37, Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei – Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Laboratorio di Conservazione e Restauro. Currently on view at the Getty Villa following conservation and study.

      09/17/14

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