Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Storyteller Daniel Morden Discusses His Craft

Breathing life into ancient tales is both a challenge and an art. Master storyteller Daniel Morden, who performs this weekend at the Getty Villa, has perfected it. His passion and zeal for classic stories—at the Villa, selections from Ovid’s Metamorphoses and scenes from the Trojan War—are unmatched. This isn’t your high school literature class. Put the textbook down and let Daniel Morden tell you a story.

Curious? See Morden discuss his art and perform highlights from Metamorphoses accompanied by cellist Sarah Moody in the video below.

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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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