Ancient World

The world of ancient Greece and Rome, with the occasional field trip to lands beyond

Also posted in Getty Villa

Confronting Myth and Misperception about Antiquities

Wearing headphones and holding a recording device, rtist Alan Nakagawa in the Outer Peristyle of the Getty Villa
Artist Alan Nakagawa in the Outer Peristyle of the Getty Villa

New project from artist Alan Nakagawa questions how we come to believe what we believe More»

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Also posted in #GettyInspired, Antiquities, Art & Archives

Poem for a Victorious Athlete

Detail of the face and shoulders of the Statue of a Victorious Youth / Greek

Of time, frailty, and fleeting victories. More»

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Also posted in Antiquities, Art & Archives, Editor's Picks, Getty Villa, technology

A Brief Introduction to Roman Mosaics

Mosaic face from Mosaic Floor with a Bear Hunt / Roman
Detail of a corner panel from Mosaic Floor with a Bear Hunt, A.D. 300–400, Roman, from near Baiae, Italy. Stone tesserae, 51–68 1/2 × 34 1/2–58 ¼ in.

15 key facts about this colorful and long-lasting art form More»

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Also posted in Art & Archives, Editor's Picks, Getty Villa, Photographs, Film, and Video, technology

Athens through a Panoramic Lens

The Philopappos Monument and the Acropolis from Mouseion Hill, 2015
The Philopappos Monument and the Acropolis from Mouseion Hill, 2015

Dramatic panoramas of Athens evoke the past in the present. More»

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Also posted in Editor's Picks, Getty Villa, Getty360

What Does the Acropolis Mean? A Conversation with Thomas Gallant

The Parthenon / Edward Dodwell
The Packard Humanities Institute

The Athenian monument as structure and symbol. More»

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Also posted in technology

Potions and Poisons: Classical Ancestors of the Wicked Witch, Part 2

Creusa Receiving the Burning Jewelry from Medea, detail of illuminated manuscript, ca 1415. J. Paul Getty Museum
Creusa Receiving the Burning Jewelry from Medea, detail of illuminated manuscript, ca 1415. J. Paul Getty Museum

Meet the formidable proto-witch, Medea. More»

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Also posted in Art & Archives, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa, technology

“A Great Passion for Old Stones and Walls”

erechtheion

Snapshots of Greece’s ancient monuments from an era before photography. More»

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Also posted in Antiquities, Art & Archives, Editor's Picks

Potions and Poisons: Classical Ancestors of the Wicked Witch, Part 1

Vessel with Leda and the Swan; Attributed to Painter of Louvre MNB 1148 (Greek (Apulian), active 350 - 330 B.C.); Apulia, South Italy; about 330 B.C.; Terracotta; 90.2 x 26 cm (35 1/2 x 10 1/4 in.); 86.AE.680
Vessel with Leda and the Swan; Attributed to Painter of Louvre MNB 1148 (Greek (Apulian), active 350 - 330 B.C.); Apulia, South Italy; about 330 B.C.; Terracotta; 90.2 x 26 cm (35 1/2 x 10 1/4 in.); 86.AE.680

The curious evolution of the witch in ancient literature. More»

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Also posted in Antiquities, Art & Architecture, Art & Archives, Getty Villa

A Guide to Euripides’ Medea

Mixing Vessel with Medea Departing in a Chariot
Mixing Vessel with Medea Departing in a Chariot (detail), about 400 B.C., attributed to the Policoro Painter. Terracotta, 19 7/8 x 19 5/8 in. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio, Leonard C. Hanna Jr. Fund, 1991.1. Photo: Tim Evanson on Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

Unpacking the ancient, bloody myth of Medea. More»

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Also posted in Antiquities, Art & Archives, Conservation

Bronze Patinas, Noble and Vile

Detail of patina on a Roman bronze statue of Cupid
Statue of the Infant Cupid (detail), Roman, A.D. 1–50, Roman. Bronze with silver and copper, 25 3/16 in. high. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 96.AB.53

They’re all made from the same stuff, so why do bronze statues come in so many different colors? More»

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      #ThyCaptionBe: Bonnacon

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

      Farting unicorn or the origin of “say it, don’t spray it”? It’s actually a magical animal from the Middle Ages…

      Here’s the full story:

      Porcupines have got nothing on this animal’s self-defense!

      According to the medieval bestiary (a kind of animal encyclopedia), the bonnacon is a creature with curled horn, leaving it defenseless against predators. 

      To compensate, it has the ability to aim and eject excrement like a projectile to distances of over 500 feet. Oh yeah, and the dung is burning hot. Doesn’t the bonnacon in this image look just a tad smug?

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

      05/03/16

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