Manuscripts and Books

Art in bound form, from medieval manuscripts adorned with jewel colors and gold to contemporary artist’s books

Also posted in Getty Research Institute, Research

A Quest to Uncover History Through Handwriting

Combat with Swords (detail), from Fiore dei Liberi, Fior di Battaglia, possibly Venice or Padua, ca. 1410. Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment, 11 x 8 1/8 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. Ludwig XV 13, fol. 20v
Combat with Swords (detail), from Fiore dei Liberi, Fior di Battaglia, possibly Venice or Padua, ca. 1410. Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment, 11 x 8 1/8 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. Ludwig XV 13, fol. 20v

The study of old handwriting combines detective work, scholarship, and a little bit of magic. More»

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Also posted in Antiquities, Art, Paintings, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Whale Tales and Sea Monsters

Venus on the Waves (detail), 1769, Francois Boucher. J. Paul Getty Museum.
Venus on the Waves (detail), 1769, Francois Boucher. J. Paul Getty Museum.

What is worse than a shark? Oh, that’s right. A lot. More»

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

Revisiting a Florentine Master

Left: A Bust of a Pope-Saint, about 1310-1315, Pacino di Bonaguida.  Pot-metal and clear glass, black and brown vitreous paint, 35 13/16 x 26 3/8 in. Museo dell’Opera di Santa Croce, Fondo Edifici di Culto, Ministero dell’Interno, Florence. Center: Saint Francis in Antiphonary, about 1320, Pacino di Bonaguida.  Tempera colors and gold leaf on parchment, 20 ½ x 13 15/16in.  Archivio di Santa Croce, Florence, Corale Q, fol. 121v (Photo: Bryan C. Keene). Right: Chiarito Tabernacle (detail), 1340s, Pacino di Bonaguida. Gilded gesso and tempera on panel, 39 7/8 x 44 11/16 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 85.PB.311
Left: A Bust of a Pope-Saint, about 1310-1315, Pacino di Bonaguida. Pot-metal and clear glass, black and brown vitreous paint, 35 13/16 x 26 3/8 in. Museo dell’Opera di Santa Croce, Fondo Edifici di Culto, Ministero dell’Interno, Florence. Center: Saint Francis in Antiphonary, about 1320, Pacino di Bonaguida. Tempera colors and gold leaf on parchment, 20 ½ x 13 15/16in. Archivio di Santa Croce, Florence, Corale Q, fol. 121v (Photo: Bryan C. Keene). Right: Chiarito Tabernacle (detail), 1340s, Pacino di Bonaguida. Gilded gesso and tempera on panel, 39 7/8 x 44 11/16 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 85.PB.311

New research on Pacino di Bonaguida, a central figure in the rise of the Renaissance in Florence. More»

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

A Better World through Chivalry

A boy is never too young to practice being a gentleman.
 
Initial T: The Apostles; Boys Playing a Game, about 1320-25, in Breviary. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. Ludwig IX 2, fols. 356v–357.
A boy is never too young to practice being a gentleman. Initial T: The Apostles; Boys Playing a Game, about 1320-25, in Breviary. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. Ludwig IX 2, fols. 356v–357.

Chivalry gets a 21st-century, multi-generational spin through these artists’ workshops. More»

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

“The Chivalry Project” Remakes Chivalry for the 21st Century

The Chivalry Project

Contribute to a collective digital rulebook, now through November 30. More»

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Also posted in Art

A Medievalist’s Viewing Guide to “Game of Thrones,” Season 4

Chess Problem (detail) from Book of Chess Problems, late 14th century.  Tempera colors and gold leaf on parchment, 9 ¾ x 6 5/8 in. (24.8 x 16.8 cm). Ms. Ludwig XV 15, fol. 97
Chess Problem (detail) from Book of Chess Problems, late 14th century. Tempera colors and gold leaf on parchment, 9 ¾ x 6 5/8 in. (24.8 x 16.8 cm). Ms. Ludwig XV 15, fol. 97

What a season it was. Let’s watch it again, manuscripts in hand. More»

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Also posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum

Medieval Manuscripts Alive

Medieval Manuscripts Alive - languages

Hear medieval manuscripts read aloud. First up: Ge’ez, the language of the Ethiopian church. More»

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Also posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Research Institute

When Spray Cans Meet Quill Pens

Work by Krush, featured on a wall curated by Axis at ESMoA’s “Scratch” exhibit 
Courtesy Getty Research Institute
Work by Krush, featured on a wall curated by Axis at ESMoA’s “Scratch” exhibit Courtesy Getty Research Institute

A new exhibition pairs rare books from the 15th to 18th centuries with a contemporary collaboration between Los Angeles graffiti artists. More»

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Also posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum

The Middle Ages and Modern Abstraction

The Virgin and Child with the Archangels Michael and Gabriel from Gospel Book, about 1504 - 1505. 13 9/16 x 10 ¼ in. (34.5 x 26.5 cm). MS. 102, FOL. 19V
The Virgin and Child with the Archangels Michael and Gabriel from Gospel Book, about 1504 - 1505. 13 9/16 x 10 ¼ in. (34.5 x 26.5 cm). MS. 102, FOL. 19V

Abstraction was no modern innovation—it’s been an integral part of art across the centuries. More»

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Also posted in J. Paul Getty Museum

Reading the Future of “Game of Thrones” through Medieval Manuscripts

Job Pointing to a Corpse on the Ground in a Book of Hours, about 1410, Follower of the Egerton Master. Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold paint, and ink on parchment, 7 ½ x 5 ½ in. (19.1 x 14 cm). The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. Ludwig IX 5, fol. 147

Do these manuscripts contain the secrets to the “Game of Thrones” season finale? More»

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      All Hail Tiberius, Least Media-Savvy of the Roman Emperors

      Tiberius was proclaimed Roman emperor on September 17 in AD 14, exactly 2,000 years ago.

      He was also a bit wacko. “He was the least media-savvy emperor you could imagine,” says curator David Saunders, who has been in charge of this bronze portrait of Tiberius which leaves us on September 22. He point to this description found in the writings of Cassius Dio:

      Tiberius was a patrician of good education, but he had a most peculiar nature. He never let what he desired appear in his conversation, and what he said he wanted he usually did not desire at all. On the contrary, his words indicated the exact opposite of his real purpose; he denied all interest in what he longed for, and urged the claims of what he hated. He would exhibit anger over matters that were far from arousing his wrath, and make a show of affability where he was most vexed…In short, he thought it bad policy for the sovereign to reveal his thoughts; this was often the cause, he said, of great failures, whereas by the opposite course, far more and greater successes were attained.

      Moreover, David tells us, “Tiberius’s accession itself was a farrago: Tiberius sort-of feigning reluctance, the Senate bullying him, he being all, ‘Well, if-I-have-to,’ and in the end—according to Suetonius—saying he’ll do it as long as he can retire.”

      Suetonius is full of great, albeit spurious, anecdotes about poor old Tiberius, David reports. “When someone addressed him as ‘My Lord,’ it is said, Tiberius gave warning that no such insult should ever again be thrown at him.”

      Happy accession, My Lord!

      Portrait Head of Tiberius (“The Lansdowne Tiberius”), early 1st century A.D., Roman. The J. Paul Getty Museum

      Statue of Tiberius (detail), Roman, A.D. 37, Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei – Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Laboratorio di Conservazione e Restauro. Currently on view at the Getty Villa following conservation and study.

      09/17/14

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