Virgin and Child

Posted in Art, Getty Center, J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books

Have You Seen an Illuminated Manuscript Lately?

The Flight into Egypt / French
The Flight into Egypt, French, about 1420-1430, tempera colors, gold paint, gold leaf, and silver paint on parchment. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 19, fol. 59

The Getty Center is one of few places in the United States where you can see medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts year-round. With three or four exhibitions per year drawn almost exclusively from the permanent collection, in addition to major international… More»

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      #ThyCaptionBe: Minty Fresh Inspiration

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

      Spit-take baptism or the fresh to death Patron Saint of Minty Fresh Breath? It’s really a depiction of Saint John receiving direct inspiration from God.

      Here’s the full story:

      The Bible recounts many examples of direct inspiration from God, but it doesn’t ever explicitly mention a blinding blue light shooting directly from heaven to the mouth of Saint John, as is depicted here. Nor does Saint John ever mention the uncomfortable sensation of being surrounded by a purple amoeba. 

      In this image that begins the Gospel of John in a Gospel book, the use of bright colors and strong shapes creates a sense of surrealism

      The illumination’s dynamic energy, however, is typical of artists working in the seventeenth century in the Armenian enclave of New Julfa in Isfahan.

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


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