Manuscripts and Books

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

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

Parallel Exhibitions on Renaissance Courts

Initial L: The Nativity, Master B. F., about 1542–45. Archivio Storico Civico e Biblioteca Trivulziana, Milan
Corale A, fol. 33 (© Comune di Milano. All rights reserved.)
Initial L: The Nativity, Master B. F., about 1542–45. Archivio Storico Civico e Biblioteca Trivulziana, Milan Corale A, fol. 33 (© Comune di Milano. All rights reserved.)

Los Angeles and Milan host parallel exhibitions of illuminated manuscripts. More»

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Also posted in J. Paul Getty Museum

Deathly Meditations in Medieval Manuscripts

The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian, Master of Sir John Fastolf, about 1430-40. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 5, fol. 36v
The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian, Master of Sir John Fastolf, about 1430-40. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 5, fol. 36v

Death is coming. Prepare with these images from illuminated manuscripts. More»

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

A Manuscript Collector’s Perspective

What draws an art collector to focus on Renaissance manuscripts? More»

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Also posted in Art

Botanical Art Inspired by Renaissance Illuminations

Hoefnagel-Inspired illumination showing a fly and a fuchsia
Hoefnagel-Inspired #4 2014, Denise Walser-Kolar. Watercolor and gouache on calfskin vellum, 4 x 6 in. Courtesy of and © Denise Walser-Kolar

Botanical illuminations inspired by a rare Renaissance book. More»

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Also posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Research Institute, Publications, Scholarship

New Digital Publication Reveals the Workings of Art History

Pietro Mellini’s Inventory in Verse, 1681 - home page
The GRI’s first born-digital publication, Pietro Mellini’s Inventory in Verse, 1681

New born-digital book offers a new model for publishing in art history. More»

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The Wars to Come: Game of Thrones and Medieval Art

Philosophy Consoling Boethius and Fortune Turning the Wheel (detail) from The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius, Coëtivy Master (Henri de Vulcop?), about 1460—70. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 42. Leaf 1v
Philosophy Consoling Boethius and Fortune Turning the Wheel (detail) from The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius, Coëtivy Master (Henri de Vulcop?), about 1460—70. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 42. Leaf 1v

A medievalist’s-eye-view of Game of Thrones, season 5. More»

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Also posted in Art, Getty360, J. Paul Getty Museum

Drink Like a Renaissance Prince

Left: Initial S: The Conversion of Saint Paul, attributed to Pisanello and the Master of the Antiphonal Q of San Giorgio Maggiore, probably northern Italy, about 1440-1450. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 41, verso. Right: The Italian wine region Colli Piacentini in the Emilia-Romagna province. Photo: Francesco Secchi (Wikimedia Commons)
Left: Initial S: The Conversion of Saint Paul, attributed to Pisanello and the Master of the Antiphonal Q of San Giorgio Maggiore, probably northern Italy, about 1440-1450. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 41, verso. Right: The Italian wine region Colli Piacentini in the Emilia-Romagna province. Photo: Francesco Secchi (Wikimedia Commons)

Wines good enough for a Renaissance prince. More»

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

Explore Renaissance Italy from Your Laptop

NITVirtual1

New online exhibition features 100 beautiful Renaissance illuminations from northern Italy. More»

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Also posted in Art

Beautiful Medieval Circles for Ultimate Pi Day

Astrological Chart, about 1405, Virgil Master. J. Paul Getty Museum.
Astrological Chart, about 1405, Virgil Master. J. Paul Getty Museum.

A few of our favorite medieval circles. More»

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

Expanding Access: Devotion and Objects

blogDH0A1977

An American Muslim scholar reads aloud from a ninth-century Qur’an. More»

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      A Chat with Photographer Tomoko Sawada

      A conversation about Japanese matchmaking traditions, self-portraiture, clothes, and identity.

      When did you start photographing yourself?
      I began making self-portraits when I was 19. It was an assignment for a photography class. I can’t even explain in Japanese why I liked them so much. It was instinctual. It’s as if I knew that this was going to be my style, that this is what I wanted to do. And I’m still doing it because I love the self-portrait, but I don’t know why. 

      What themes are you exploring in your work?
      I’m interested in the relationship between inside and outside. If you wear a sexy dress or if you wear kids clothes or casual clothes, people treat you differently. Even though you are you no matter what you wear. It’s that relationship that makes me think. 

      My new work is from when I was living in New York. When I was in New York, people didn’t think I was Japanese. Sometimes they thought I was Korean or Chines or Mongolian. Even Singaporean. It was funny, when I would go to the Japanese market, they would speak to me in English. When I went to the Korean market, they would speak to me in English again. I don’t seem to look Japanese outside of Japan. I was surprised because I think I look totally Japanese. It’s funny that people’s points of view are totally different.

      Could you talk a little about OMIAI, the series that represents a traditional Japanese matchmaking technique.
      OMIAI is a tradition that is somehow still working today. Usually, there is a matchmaker and photographs are exchanged before meeting. If both sides are interested, they can meet for lunch or dinner accompanied by their parents and steps for marriage proceed from there. In the old days, some people chose their marriage partner just through photographs, without even meeting each other. 

      When OMIAI was exhibited in Japan I saw people making various comments in from of the work. People would say things like, “she looks like a good cook; surely she would prepare delicious meals every day,” or “ this girl could be a perfect bride for my son,” or “I can tell she would not be a good housewife,” or “she’s such a graceful girl; she must be the daughter of a decent family.” Comments like that. 

      What was the process of making that work?
      I gained 10 pounds before I started taking the pictures, and in six months I lost forty pounds, because I wanted to look different in each photo. I wanted to change the way my legs looked. 

      Every weekend I went to the hair salon and put on a kimono. Then I went to the photo studio on the street in Japan. I would take a picture and then change my clothes to western dress. Then I would go to the studio again the next weekend. 

      Did you tell the photographer how you wanted it done?
      I told him I was an artist and wanted to make photographs with him. I told him to think that each weekend new girls would show up to make the OMIAI. I didn’t want him to think of me as the same girl who came every weekend. He understood the concept. 

      We had fun. While he was taking pictures, his wife would tell me how to lose weight. She gave me many tips.


      Tomoko Sawada’s work is on view at the Getty until February 21, 2016 in “The Younger Generation: Contemporary Japanese Photography”

      02/11/16

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