Ancient World

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

Also posted in Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

A Guide to Aeschylus’s “Persians”

Ellen Lauren as Persian Queen Atossa against a backdrop of golden drapery
Play in progress: Ellen Lauren as Persian Queen Atossa against a backdrop of golden drapery. Photo: Sara Radamacher

A theater-goer’s guide to the western world’s oldest play. More»

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Also posted in Antiquities, J. Paul Getty Museum

Acrobatic Feats of the Ancient Wine Party

Fragmentary Mug with a Youth Drinking from a Wine Cup, 510–500 B.C., attributed to near the Theseus Painter, vase-painter; and to the Heron Class, potter. Greek, made in Athens. Terracotta, 6 1/4 in. high. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 76.AE.127. Gift of Lynda and Max Palevsky
Fragmentary Mug with a Youth Drinking from a Wine Cup, 510–500 B.C., attributed to near the Theseus Painter, vase-painter; and to the Heron Class, potter. Greek, made in Athens. Terracotta, 6 1/4 in. high. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 76.AE.127. Gift of Lynda and Max Palevsky

Wine makes a man do strange things. More»

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Also posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa

Power through Prayer

Mummy Portrait of a Boy, about A.D. 150–200, Romano-Egyptian, made in Fayum, Egypt. Encaustic on wood, 8 x 5 1/8 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 78.AP.262

Can a small gold pendant ward off dark forces? More»

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Also posted in Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

A Taste of Byzantium

puddingblog

Coming July 19: A four-course dinner inspired by the cuisine of the Byzantine Empire. More»

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Also posted in Antiquities, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Power in a Mummy Portrait

Mummy Portrait of Isidora / Isidora Master
Mummy Portrait of a Woman (detail), about A.D. 100–110, attributed to the Isidora Master. Linen, pigment, and gold; encaustic on wood, 18 7/8 x 14 3/16. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 81.AP.42

This woman is still beautiful and self-assured, 2,000 years after her portrait was painted. More»

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Also posted in Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum

What Did Byzantine Food Taste Like?

Spoons with Inscriptions / Byzantine
Image courtesy of and © Benaki Museum, Athens, 2013

In the kitchen with the Byzantines. More»

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Also posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations

A Trip through Byzantine Greece

Kastoria
Photo courtesy of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports

Three stunning sites in Greece are home to remarkable Byzantine art and architecture. More»

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Also posted in Antiquities, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum

The Christian Empire that Grew from Classical Roots

Head of Aphrodite, A.D. 1–100, Roman, made in Athens, Greece. Marble, 15 3/4 in. high. National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Image courtesy of the National Archaeological Museum, Athens
National Archaeological Museum, Athens

Explore the Getty Villa’s summer exhibition “Heaven and Earth” through one of its most compelling masterpieces. More»

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Also posted in Antiquities

Beware the Ides of March

Beware the Ides of March / Julius Caesar
Consult a good soothsayer before heading out this weekend. Artwork: Portrait of Julius Caesar (detail) from the Forum of Trajan, Rome. National Archaeological Museum, Naples, Inv. 6038. Photo: S. Sosnovskiy, 2008

If the sacrificial liver looks bad, stay home…and other soothsaying wisdom from ancient Rome. More»

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Also posted in Antiquities, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa

If Statues Could Talk…

Statue of Tiberius in the Men's gallery at the Getty Villa / Roman
Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei – Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Laboratorio di Conservazione e Restauro

There’s a new emperor in town—an 8-foot-tall bronze Tiberius, to be exact. More»

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    • photo from Tumblr

      …”the clarity of the cold carnation of old skin, the creases of the smile, the folds made by the passage of time; the powerful pleating of the forehead…”

      The detail of his wrinkles, blood vessels, and moles is a realistic rendering uncommon in formal portraiture of the time. This was made by a friend.

      Portrait of Louis de Silvestre, about 1753, Maurice-Quentin de la Tour. J. Paul Getty Museum.

      08/31/14

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