Manuscripts and Books

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

Also posted in Art, Research, Voices

Graffiti Black Book | Getty Voices

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One of the first looks at some of the pages for the Getty Graffiti Black Book. We examined a few of our special collections volumes to compare illustrations.

A cross-century, cross-community collaboration between L.A. graffiti and tattoo artists—in the tradition of Albrecht Dürer. More»

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Also posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations

A Field Guide to Renaissance Gardens

The Temptation of Adam and Eve / Boucicaut Master
The Temptation of Adam and Eve (detail) in Concerning the Fates of Illustrious Men and Women, about 1415, Boucicaut Master. Tempera colors, gold leaf and gold paint on parchment, 16 9/16 x 11 5/8 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 63, fol. 3

In the Renaissance as now, gardens came in many forms and carried many associations. A visual tour. More»

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Also posted in Behind the Scenes, Research, Voices

Creating “Getty Scholars’ Workspace”: Lessons from the Digital Humanities Trenches

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Getty Scholars’ Workspace, an online collaborative working environment, is taking shape at the Getty Research Institute. Lessons from the pilot project. More»

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Also posted in Art, Gardens and Architecture, Voices

Getty Voices: Renaissance Gardens

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A journey through Renaissance gardens and their paradoxes: natural and artificial, sin and salvation, virtue and vice. More»

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Also posted in Art, Conservation, Getty Conservation Institute, Paintings

What Do Rocks Have to Do with Renaissance Art?

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Why the manuscript illuminations in Florence at the Dawn of the Renaissance really rock. More»

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

A Call to Arms! Heraldry in Renaissance Florence (And a Mystery You Can Help Solve)

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The Virgin and Child Surrounded by Saints, between 1350 and 1365, Follower of Bernardo Daddi (possibly Pietro Nelli). Tempera and gold leaf on panel, 37 ½ x 26 in. (95.3 x 66 cm). Portland Art Museum, 61.51

Heraldry is a fascinating and complex system by which coats of arms are devised and decoded.  My familial arms—yes, my family has a coat of arms, and yours may have too—are composed of an intricate grouping of objects, including a… More»

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Also posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, 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 Art, J. Paul Getty Museum

On the 12 Days of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me…

A Partridge (detail)/from a bestiary
A Partridge (detail) in a bestiary, about 1270. Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment, 7 ½ x 5 5/8 in. (19.1 x 14.3 cm). The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. Ludwig XV 3, fol. 38v

Illuminated manuscripts are one of my true loves, and as a treat for the 12 days of Christmas, I’d like to share just a few of the glorious things that my true love gave to me this year. On the… More»

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Also posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum

Christmas Adventures, from Silver Screen to Gilded Page

Alistair Sim as Scrooge repents his selfish ways in the 1951 movie version of A Christmas Carol
Scrooge repents his selfish ways in the 1951 movie version of A Christmas Carol. Courtesy of United Artists

I love Christmas movies, from the moment when Natalie Wood is stunned by Santa Claus speaking Dutch in Miracle on 34th Street to Rudolph setting off with Hermey the dentist in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. One of my other great… More»

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Also posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum

Slaving Over a Hot Medieval Stove

Baking Bread / Unknown illuminator, Belgium
Baking Bread (detail) in a psalter by an unknown illuminator, Belgium, mid-1200s. Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment, each leaf 9 1/4 x 6 1/2 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 14, fol. 8v

If cooking for a crowd seems like hard work today, imagine what it must have been like in the Middle Ages, before the advent of electricity, indoor plumbing, or take-out. Two illuminations from a psalter (book of Psalms) offer a… More»

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      Eye-to-eye with a devotional painting of Christ.

      This haunting and intimate portrait of Christ is both dramatic and spiritual. Less than a foot high, the panel was made for private use.

      See the full picture here.

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

      10/22/14

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