Antiquities

Sculpture, painting, jewelry, vases, and objects of daily life from ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria

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

Ancient Sicilian Coins: Miniature Masterpieces, Full-Scale Challenges

Coin with Nike Driving a Four-Horse Chariot
Royal Library of Belgium—Coin Cabinet

The designer of the Sicily exhibition at the Getty Villa reveals the challenges of displaying small, double-sided, intricate objects—coins. More»

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Also posted in Ancient World, Voices

Getty Voices: The Ancient Funny

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: A Greek, a Roman, and a priest walk into a bar… More»

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Also posted in Ancient World, Voices

Mystery Cults and the Mother Goddess

Orphic Prayer Sheet / Greek
Orphic Prayer Sheet, Greek, 350-300 B.C. Gold, 1 7/16 x 7/8 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 75.AM.19. Gift of Lenore Barozzi

Only initiates could take part in the rites of the mystery cult, and they were forbidden to ever speak of what occurred. More»

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Also posted in Ancient World, Education, Getty Villa, Voices

Getty Voices: Digging the Sacred

Engraved Gem (Snake-legged Creature)
Engraved gem with snake-legged creature, Unknown, Roman, 200 - 400 A.D., The J. Paul Getty Museum.

“I can really appreciate the ancient system where borrowing, amalgamating, and generally mixing it up was perfectly acceptable.” More»

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Also posted in Ancient World, Manuscripts and Books, Prints and Drawings

Lessons from the Romans on Getting the New Year Off to a Good Start

Janus-head flask / Roman
Janus-head flask, 1st century A.D., eastern Mediterranean. Glass, 3 7/16 in. high. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003.474

Sage advice from the ancients on new beginnings We are in the territory of Janus, the ancient Roman god who gives us the name of our first month. Janus is the master of beginnings, as well as doors and archways… More»

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

An Ancient Curse Revealed

Curse Tablet / found in Morgantina, Sicily
Curse Tablet, about 100 B.C., found in Morgantina, Sicily. Lead, 3 11/16 x 1 13/16 in. (9.4 x 4.6 cm). Museo Archeologico Regionale of Aidone

One small but powerful object stands out among the artifacts excavated from the ancient city of Morgantina in central Sicily, now on loan to the Getty Villa from the Museo Archeologico Regionale of Aidone and on view in Gallery 104…. More»

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Also posted in Ancient World, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Seven Ways of Seeing “Lion Attacking a Horse”

Lion Attacking a Horse / Greek
Lion Attacking a Horse, Greek, 325–300 B.C.; restored in Rome in 1594. Marble, 150 x 250 cm. Sovraintendenza ai Beni Culturali di Roma Capitale—Musei Capitolini

In August, the Greek sculpture Lion Attacking a Horse flew over the back wall of the Getty Villa and took up residence in our Atrium. We have now lived with the sculpture for over three months, and are already lamenting… More»

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Also posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Publications

Developing an Online Scholarly Museum Catalogue

Lollypop Viewer
A glimpse of the disabled "lollipop" viewer with Pendant: Divinity Holding Hares, Etruscan, 600–550 B.C. Height: 97 mm; width: 64 mm; depth: 24 mm; Diameter of suspension holes: 2.5 mm; Weight: 76 g. Gift of Gordon McLendon. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 77.AO.82

We just launched our first online scholarly catalogue, Ancient Carved Ambers in the J. Paul Getty Museum, available at museumcatalogues.getty.edu/ambers. This catalogue was a collaborative effort between our Publications team, the Museum’s curatorial and conservation staff, and the department I… More»

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Also posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Conserving the Berthouville Treasure

Early 20th-century print of silver vessel number 11 from the Berthouville Treasure
Early 20th-century print of silver vessel number 11 from the Berthouville Treasure. Plate XV in Ernest Babelon, Le trésor d'argenterie de Berthouville près Bernay (Eure) (Paris, 1916). The Getty Research Institute, 2908-151

Conservation treatment represents an important moment in the life of an object, and this is particularly true for the Berthouville Treasure, an extraordinary group of Gallo-Roman silver that arrived at the Getty Villa two years ago. In collaboration with the… More»

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Also posted in Ancient World, Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

“Not Like a Coward”: Remembering a Warrior’s Death

Gravestone of Pollis / Greek
Gravestone of Pollis, Greek, made in Megara, about 480 B.C. Marble, 60 1/4 in. high. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 90.AA.129

The intimate association between being remembered and risking one’s life on the battlefield lies at the heart of Homer’s Iliad. The preeminent warrior Achilles famously chose to die young in battle and be forever honored, and this heroic code is well… More»

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      Touched by an angel. Or demon.

      The 16th-century alchemist and mathematician John Dee spent years documenting his conversations with what he believed to be angels.

      40 years after his death, the scholar Méric Causabon published Dee’s records, arguing that Dee had been talking to evil spirits all along. So what are you reading this weekend? 

      Title page from “A True and Faithful Relation …,” 1659, Méric Causabon. Getty Research Institute.

      08/31/14

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