World Cup 2010

Posted in Behind the Scenes

World Cup Fever Grips the Getty

The agony and ecstasy of soccer--over lunch in the Getty Research Institute Lecture Hall

Looking around the room, I see a virtual United Nations in the grip of soccer fever. Her parents are from Mexico and El Salvador, but her team is the Black Stars of Ghana. She was born in Nicaragua, and cheers… More»

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Posted in Art, Getty Research Institute

Soccer and Opera: A Common History?

depicting Florentine soccer in Discorso sopra il givoco del calcio fiorentino del Puro Accademico Alterato, Giovanni de' Bardi (Florence, Stamperia dei Giunti, 1580). The Getty Research Institute, 1370-871

The World Cup kicks off today in South Africa, and the international mania for soccer—sometimes known as “the beautiful game’’—put me in mind of one of the many interesting treasures held in the collections of the Getty Research Institute. In… More»

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      gettypubs:

      COBALT

      The histories of many colors are amazing, but cobalt may well have the most brilliant of them all. From the Ming Dynasty to Renaissance Italy, cobalt was a popular glaze for porcelain and other ceramics. Cobalt ink is invisible unless exposed to flame, which turns it a vivid green. In the 17th century, this quality made Europeans believe it was witchcraft, but decades later it was used as a neat trick on fire screens. It wasn’t until 1802 that painters added cobalt to their palette. 

      It is this little tidbit from cobalt’s history that saved master forger Han van Meergeren’s skin after WWII, when he was tried for collaborating with the Nazis. Want to find out how some art history sleuthing and smart science got him a not guilty verdict? Hint: Don’t try to forge a Vermeer with cobalt! 

      Read all about it in The Brilliant History of Color in Art!

      Images, clockwise:

      Glazed earthenware dish with a marchant ship, Italy, about 1510. 

      Glazed earthenware tile floor, Spain, about 1425-50.

      Porcelain lidded vase, China, about 1662-1772.

      All objects from the J. Paul Getty Museum. 

      12/18/14

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