Antiquities

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

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

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 (minus their hinges, a subspecialty deputized to the… 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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Also posted in Ancient World, Art, J. Paul Getty Museum

Voting with the Ancient Greeks

Voting with psephoi in a scene from the Wine Cup with the Suicide of Ajax / Brygos Painter

This Greek wine cup from the 5th century B.C. offers one of the earliest depictions of voting in art. As the Trojan War rages, Greek chieftains are forced to choose between the competing claims of heroes Ajax and Odysseus to… More»

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

Percy Jackson, The Hunger Games, and Why Your Kids Need to Know Classical Culture

A family visiting the Getty Villa explores ancient art, history, and mythology through frescoes from the ancient Roman city of Herculaneum.
Mosaic with boxers: A scene from the Aenied in which two boxers fight to a bloody end for the watching crowd. (The J. Paul Getty Museum, 71.AH.106)

The adventure and derring-do of ancient myth is an easy sell to kids, and parents too for that matter. But I believe your kids need to know more. More»

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

Apocalypse Then: Bulwer-Lytton’s “The Last Days of Pompeii”

Cover and illustration from Bulwer-Lytton's The Last Days of Pompeii

Mount Vesuvius erupted on August 24, A.D. 79, burying Pompeii and neighboring towns under tons of ash and volcanic debris. Rediscovered by accident some 1,650 years later, the Vesuvian ruins captured the imagination of artists and writers, who vied to… More»

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Also posted in Ancient World, Behind the Scenes, Getty Villa, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Installing “Lion Attacking a Horse” at the Getty Villa

Lionsculpture_lg
Sovraintendenza ai Beni Culturali di Roma Capitale—Musei Capitolini

The massive sculpture of a Lion Attacking a Horse hasn’t left Rome in over 2,000 years, but it feels right at home sitting in the Atrium of the Getty Villa. The giant marble, on loan through January 2013 as part… More»

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