Antiquities

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

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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Also posted in Ancient World, Education, Getty Villa

Reclining and Dining (and Drinking) in Ancient Rome

A Roman Feast / Roberto Bompiani

The ancient Greeks had a recumbent approach to their (male-only) dinner parties, as I discussed in a previous post: elite men reclined, propped on pillows, to drink, converse, and—sometimes—overindulge. The practice of reclining and dining continued into ancient Rome, but… More»

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Also posted in Ancient World, Education, Getty Villa

Lindsey Davis on Writing the Ancient World

Novelist Lindsey Davis at the Getty Villa

Novelist Lindsey Davis has devoted her career to entertaining readers with zesty whodunits set in ancient Rome. Famed for her ability to evoke ancient life down to its sounds and smells, as well as for her clever plots full of… More»

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Also posted in Ancient World, Art

Grit, Money, Glory: Olympics Then and Now

Athletes and Competition (Gallery 211) at the Getty Villa

This weekend marked the start of the 2012 Olympics, a spectacle with 10,500 Olympic and 4,200 Paralympic athletes in competition across 26 sports, from handball to taekwondo to the good old-fashioned pentathlon. The Olympics we’re familiar with today are an… More»

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Also posted in Ancient World, Getty Villa

What Did Ancient Music Sound Like?

Sarcophagus with Scenes of Bacchus / Roman

Ancient works of art illustrate that music had a strong presence in daily life of classical Greece and Rome. Vase paintings and sculptures in the antiquities collection offer an eye-opening view of the variety of musical instruments that were played, as… More»

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Also posted in Behind the Scenes, Education, Getty Villa

Reclining and Dining (and Drinking) in Ancient Greece

Getty Villa docent Don Petersen reclines on his left side, elbow raised on a stack of pillows, with his right knee bent. He holds a skyphos, a common stemless drinking cup.

Elite Greeks and Romans reclined to dine, and ordinary people copied them when they could. Although the practice seems strange to us, it must have been both comfortable and convenient, since reclining during meals spread throughout the Mediterranean and survived… More»

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

In Search of the Berthouville Treasure

Map of France showing the relative locations of Paris and Berthouville

The present whereabouts of the Berthouville Treasure are not a mystery. In December 2011 this priceless hoard of ancient Roman artifacts discovered by chance in the French countryside over 180 years ago was temporarily transferred from its permanent home in the… More»

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      Eye-to-eye with a mystery man.

      He closely resembles painter Francois Boucher, whose eyes rendered paintings like this one

      In 18th century France, terracotta busts were popular additions to the home as they were relatively inexpensive, and fit for both middle class and wealthy consumers.

      See the full picture here.

      Eye-to-eye connects the peoples of yesterday to you through art.

      Bust of a Man, about 1760, Attributed to Jean-Jacques Caffieri. J. Paul Getty Museum.

      10/01/14

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