Ancient World

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

Also posted in Antiquities, Education

The Fine Art of Feasting in Roman Gaul

Pompeiian wall painting depicting autumn produce / Roman, A.D. 70
Wall painting from Pompeii (around A.D. 70) depicting autumn produce, grapes, apples, and pomegranates overflowing a large glass bowl, next to a tilting amphora and a terracotta pot of preserved fruit

A taste of mealtime in ancient France. More»

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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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      #ProvenancePeek: July 31

      Every art object has a story—not only of how it was made, but of how it changed hands over time until it found its current home. That story is provenance.

      This small panel by Dutch master Gerrit Dou (photographed only in black and white) is now in the collection of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. It was sold to American collector Robert Sterling Clark, an heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune, in the summer of 1922.

      How do we know this? Archival sleuthing! A peek into the handwritten stock books of M. Knoedler & Co. (book 7, page 10, row 40, to be exact) records the Dou in “July 1922” (right page, margin). Turning to the sales books, which lists dates and prices, we again find the painting under the heading “New York July 1922,” with its inventory number 14892. A tiny “31” in superscript above Clark’s name indicates the date the sale was recorded.

      M. Knoedler was one of the most influential dealers in the history of art, selling European paintings to collectors whose collections formed the genesis of great U.S. museums. The Knoedler stock books have recently been digitized and transformed into a searchable database, which anyone can query for free.

      Girl at a Window, 1623–75, Gerrit Dou. Oil on panel, 10 9/16 x 7 ½ in. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts


      #ProvenancePeek is a monthly series by research assistant Kelly Davis peeking into #onthisday provenance finds from the M. Knoedler & Co. archives at the Getty Research Institute.

      07/31/15

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