Paintings

Old Master paintings, oil sketches, ancient encaustic portraits, and more

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

Andrea del Sarto’s Seductive Saints

Saint John the Baptist / Andrea del Sarto
Istituti museali della Soprintendenza Speciale per il Polo Museale Fiorentino. Su concessione del Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo

Why Renaissance artists rendered sacred bodies beautiful and erotic. More»

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Also posted in Art & Archives, Education, Getty360

Communal Art Project Remakes the Flower Still Life

Sketching a moth at Family Art Lab: Still Lifes in Blossom

Kids and adults work together to create giant still lifes teeming with flowers, fruit, and insects. More»

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Also posted in Art & Archives, J. Paul Getty Museum, Prints and Drawings

A Renaissance Mystery, from a Marriage to a Sacrifice

The Sacrifice of Isaac / Andrea del Sarto
Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden

A chance discovery within an Andrea del Sarto panel. More»

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Also posted in Art & Archives, Getty Conservation Institute, J. Paul Getty Museum, technology

A Hidden Rembrandt Has Been Digitally Reconstructed in Color

Tentative color reconstruction of the hidden portrait under An Old Man in Military Costume
Tentative color reconstruction of the hidden portrait under An Old Man in Military Costume

A hidden Rembrandt is revealed. More»

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Also posted in Art & Archives, Behind the Scenes, Getty Foundation

How I Look at Art as a Conservator

Sara Mateu examines the reverse of a panel painting
Sara Mateu examines the reverse of a panel painting.

What is it like to be a panel paintings conservator? More»

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Also posted in Art, Art & Archives, Editor's Picks

Five Ways of Seeing Van Gogh’s Irises

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3. Alone

With a little luck and an early arrival to the museum, you just might be able to enjoy Irises alone. If you arrive right at 10 a.m. when the museum opens, the quiet gallery provides a perfect backdrop to really examine the painting. Solitude and seclusion gives the gallery a sense of intimacy that makes it one of my favorite ways to see it.

4. Multiple Times

Detail of IrisesDuring my observations I noticed people often came back to see the painting multiple times in one day. I wonder if it’s due to its emotional complexity. One visitor felt the painting is filled with melancholy and sadness, pointing out Van Gogh’s stay in an asylum and the lone, white flower in the midst of the vibrant, purple irises. On the opposite end of the spectrum, another viewer felt the painting is full of joy, pointing out how vibrant the colors were, and how they manage to rise out of the seemingly dry, brown dirt.

5. Internationally

Visitors from all across the world viewed this famous Van Gogh. In just one hour I heard multiple languages—French, Italian, Chinese, Korean, German, and more. Irises seems to rise above cultural boundaries—a Dutch painting inspired by Japanese ukiyo-e prints—to strike an emotional resonance amongst all viewers. DH0A5398 One of the great things about art is how we all bring our own perspectives to it. How

Many ways to see a Van Gogh. More»

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Also posted in Art, Art & Archives

A Pop Soundtrack to the Getty Collection, Vol. 1

Why Hasn't He Called
Young Italian Woman at a Table, about 1895–1900, Paul Cézanne. Oil on canvas. 36 1/4 x 28 15/16 inches. The J. Paul Getty Museum

Music shows off the collection in a new light. More»

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Also posted in Art, Art & Archives

The Greatest Muralist You’ve Never Heard Of

Misión
Misión, 2001, Fresno St. at Cesar Chavez, Los Angeles, Manuel G. Cruz

The slowly vanishing murals of Manuel Cruz. More»

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Also posted in Art, Art & Archives, J. Paul Getty Museum

J.M.W. Turner Exhibition Open till 9pm on Its Final Day

Installation view of J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free at the Getty Center
Inside the exhibition at the Getty. More photos on Flickr

Last chance! Exhibition of J.M.W. Turner to remain open late on Sunday, May 24. More»

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Also posted in Art, Art & Archives

Portrait of the Artist’s Mother as an Old Woman

Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1, 1871, James Abbott McNeill Whistler. Oil on canvas. Paris, Musée d’Orsay © Musée d'Orsay, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY
Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1, 1871, James Abbott McNeill Whistler. Oil on canvas. Paris, Musée d’Orsay © Musée d'Orsay, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY

Who is Whistler’s mother? More»

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      A Brief History of the Fleur-de-lis in Art

      The fleur-de-lis, a familiar symbol with varied meanings and a rather obscure origin.

      If you read the labels of objects in museums bearing the fleur-de-lis (in French, fleur de lys, pronounced with the final “s”), you might notice that they were all made in France before the French Revolution of 1789. 

      What’s less apparent is that the fleur-de-lis marks objects that bear witness to a dramatic history of monarchy, democracy, and war: they speak to the inherent power of trappings commissioned for and by France’s pre-revolutionary kings.

      Adopted as a royal emblem in France by the 1100s, the fleur-de-lis can be traced to early Frankish monarchs including Clovis I, who converted to Christianity in 496, and the renowned Charlemagne. 

      A French word, fleur-de-lis translates literally to “lily flower.” This is appropriate given the association of lilies with purity (and the Virgin Mary) and given that France has long been known as the “Eldest Daughter of the Church.” In truth, the stylized flower most closely resembles a yellow iris. 

      As a heraldic symbol used in the arms of the French monarchy, the fleur-de-lis often appears in yellow or gold tones and set on a blue shield. 

      Given its intimate royal associations, the fleur-de-lis invoked the ire of revolutionaries even before the fall of the monarchy in 1792. In addition to toppling royal statues, vandals chipped away at crowns and fleurs-de-lis adorning the façades of buildings.

      Full blog post on the Getty Iris here.

      04/28/16

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