Ancient World

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

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

Has History Got Roman Emperor Tiberius All Wrong?

Tiberius at the Getty Villa

Outrageous criminal or misunderstood victim? A new exhibition finds the man behind the scandal. More»

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Also posted in Behind the Scenes, Exhibitions and Installations

Why the Cyrus Cylinder Matters Today

The Cyrus Cylinder as installed at the Getty Villa
The Cyrus Cylinder, Achaemenid, after 539 B.C. Terracotta, 22.9 x 10 cm. The British Museum

Why is this small cylinder of baked clay so famous around the world? More»

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Also posted in Antiquities, Art, Getty Villa

A Winged Chariot, Wilshire Boulevard, and a Shipwreck: The Travels of Triptolemos

Display case at the Getty Villa featuring Red-Figure Neck-Amphora with Triptolemos Attended by Demeter and Persephone
Display case at the Getty Villa featuring, at center, Red-Figure Neck-Amphora with Triptolemos Attended by Demeter and Persephone, about 440–430 B.C., attributed to the Hector Painter. Greek, made in Attica. Terracotta, 19 1/4 in. high. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, William Randolph Hearst Collection (50.8.23)

Retracing the travels of a beautiful Greek vase, from Naples to England to Los Angeles by way of a near miss with the sea floor More»

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Also posted in Antiquities, Art, Conservation

(Re)Discovering Tiberius

Statue of Tiberius
Statue of Tiberius, Roman, 1st century A.D. Bronze, 96 7/8 in. (246 cm) high. Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei - Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Laboratorio di Conservazione e Restauro

Newly cleaned and conserved at the Getty Villa, this monumental Roman statue will go on view October 16. More»

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Also posted in Antiquities

Is That Available as an e-Book? Scrolling through an Ancient Text

Attic Red-Figure Cup Fragment
Attic Red-Figure Cup Fragment (detail); Akestorides Painter, Greek (Attic), active about 470 - 450 B.C.; Athens, Greece, Europe; about 470 - 450 B.C.; Terracotta; Object (greatest extent): 6.8 cm (2 11/16 in.); 86.AE.324

An ancient depiction of a classroom and the mysterious marked letters on a scroll; but what do these letters mean? More»

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Also posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Villa

Five-Ton Wheel Takes Center Stage for “Prometheus Bound”

WHEELshot

A five-ton steel wheel has craned into the Getty Villa for this fall’s outdoor theater production. More»

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Also posted in J. Paul Getty Museum

Prometheus Bound: A God Stands Up for Humans’ Rights

Prometheus LA Mag
Look for these posters around town this summer. The photo shows Ron Cephas Jones performing the remarkable feat of embodying Prometheus while anchored to the 23-foot-tall rotating wheel.

Prometheus gave humans fire, and for that he was punished for all of eternity. His story is brought to life in the Villa’s outdoor theater this fall. More»

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Also posted in Antiquities, Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Voices

Getty Voices: Sicilian Journeys

Sicily: Art and Invention between Greece and Rome at the Getty Villa
Artwork reproduced by permission of the Regione Siciliana, Assessorato dei Beni Culturali e dell'Identità Siciliana. Dipartimento dei Beni Culturali e dell'Identità Siciliana

A charioteer? A dancer? The Mozia Youth, aguably one of the world’s most breathtaking ancient sculptures, is both mysterious and beautiful. More»

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Also posted in Antiquities, Voices

Seduction in Ancient Rome

Roman fresco with banquet scene from the Casa dei Casti Amanti, Marisa Ranieri Panetta (ed.): Pompeji. Geschichte, Kunst und Leben in der versunkenen Stadt. Belser, Stuttgart 2005, author: Wolfgang Rieger
Roman fresco with banquet scene from the Casa dei Casti Amanti, Marisa Ranieri Panetta (ed.): Pompeji. Geschichte, Kunst und Leben in der versunkenen Stadt. Belser, Stuttgart 2005, author: Wolfgang Rieger

Ovid’s Ars Amatoria serves up the rules of ancient Roman dating and sex—some hilarious, some mildly horrifying. More»

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Also posted in Antiquities, Getty Villa, Voices

Getty Voices: Classics 2.0

pompeii_graffiti_featured

The real ancient world of Greece and Rome was much like our own: colorful, human, and messy. The Villa Teen Apprentices take it on. More»

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      ROSE

      This milky pink boomed into popularity because of a marketing ploy, a mistress, and its ambiguous origins.

      In an effort to compete with the renowned Meissen porcelain factory, the French Sèvres manufactory recruited the glamorous Madame de Pompadour (mistress to King Louis XV). Like a smart sponsorship deal, Sèvres gave her all the porcelain she requested. 

      Introduced in 1757, this rich pink exploded on the scene thanks to favoritism by Madame Pompadour herself. 

      The glaze itself had a weird history. To the Europeans it looked Chinese, and to the Chinese it was European. It was made based on a secret 17th-century glassmaker’s technique, involving mixing glass with flecks of gold.

      For more on colors and their often surprising histories, check out The Brilliant History of Color in Art.

      12/19/14

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