Paintings

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

Also posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum

Watteau’s Serious Clown Comes to the Getty

The Italian Comedians in a Park / Antoine Watteau

Antoine Watteau is famous for his theatrical pictures of the 18th-century French megarich at their elegant balls and fêtes galantes. Theater of a different kind figures in The Italian Comedians, a beautiful and poignant painting that has just joined the… More»

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Also posted in Conservation, Getty Foundation, Philanthropy

The Ghent Altarpiece in 100 Billion Pixels

Ghent Altarpiece - Brooch detail

It is now possible to zoom in to the intricate, breathtaking details of one of the most important works of art in the world, thanks to a newly completed website focused on the Ghent Altarpiece. A stunning and highly complex… More»

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Also posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum

James Ensor 2.0: “Christ’s Entry into Brussels” Becomes Performance Art

Two bottle stoppers from Vive L.A Social, Mathis Collins, 2011
Vive L.A Social (details), Mathis Collins, 2011. Images courtesy of Mathis Collins

The unruly figures in James Ensor’s massive painting Christ’s Entry into Brussels in 1889 have sneaked off the canvas and into bottles across Los Angeles. They’re the cast of characters in a new performance work by French artist Mathis Collins…. More»

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Also posted in Conservation, J. Paul Getty Museum

Madonna and Child Visit from Hearst Castle

Madonna and Child / school of Duccio di Buoninsegna

Starting tomorrow, a golden Virgin and Child from Duccio di Buoninsegna’s workshop will be adorning the Getty Center paintings galleries (North Pavilion, Gallery 201). Paintings by Duccio are astoundingly rare—there are fewer than 15 in existence, the Maestà in Siena… More»

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Also posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum

A “French ‘Mona Lisa’” Comes to L.A.: Manet’s “Portrait of Madame Brunet”

Portrait of Madame Brunet / Edouard Manet

Museum-quality paintings by Édouard Manet still remaining in private hands are exceptionally rare, and the Getty Museum is extremely fortunate in its most recent addition to the paintings collection: Manet’s Portrait of Madame Brunet, which goes on view at the… More»

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Also posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum

Anatomy of a Horse Painting

The Piebald Horse / Paulus Potter

In George Stubbs’s Brood Mares and Foals, which arrived at the Museum in October as a temporary anonymous loan, horses are sympathetically portrayed within the bucolic landscape of the English countryside. The overriding mood is idyllic, as a small coterie… More»

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Also posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum

The Princess Is Back

Portrait of Leonilla, Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn by Franz Xaver Winterhalter in Gallery W201 at the Getty Center

In March, one of the most elegant women at the Museum was forcibly escorted out of the galleries. I was there and saw the whole thing. Princess Leonilla, who’d been on constant view since the Getty Center opened in 1997,… More»

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Also posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

It Happened in L.A.: Artists Turn to Zen

Little Big Horn / Peter Voulkos

Artists’ studios aren’t generally thought of as meditative places. The stereotype is one of disarray—an image comes to mind of paintbrushes, sculpting tools, or other instruments of the trade strewn about a room, as if to signal an unruly creative… More»

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Also posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum

A Portrait of Venice Unmasked

The Painter in His Studio / Pietro Longhi

The life of a painting can be pretty unpredictable. Some are constantly on the move, reaching different parts of the world as they travel through time. When I started at the Getty as an intern, I had only recently returned… More»

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Also posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Center, Getty Research Institute, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

A Walk through “Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents,” Opening This Weekend

Inside Crosscurrents: Helen Lundeberg's canvas Blue Planet with John Mason's sculptures Vertical Sculpture, Spear Form and Orange Cross

In the ocean, a crosscurrent runs across the main flow, stirring things up. Similarly, you can see different artistic movements, crossing each other from a variety of directions, in the exhibition Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture,… More»

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      gettypubs:

      COBALT

      The histories of many colors are amazing, but cobalt may well have the most brilliant of them all. From the Ming Dynasty to Renaissance Italy, cobalt was a popular glaze for porcelain and other ceramics. Cobalt ink is invisible unless exposed to flame, which turns it a vivid green. In the 17th century, this quality made Europeans believe it was witchcraft, but decades later it was used as a neat trick on fire screens. It wasn’t until 1802 that painters added cobalt to their palette. 

      It is this little tidbit from cobalt’s history that saved master forger Han van Meergeren’s skin after WWII, when he was tried for collaborating with the Nazis. Want to find out how some art history sleuthing and smart science got him a not guilty verdict? Hint: Don’t try to forge a Vermeer with cobalt! 

      Read all about it in The Brilliant History of Color in Art!

      Images, clockwise:

      Glazed earthenware dish with a marchant ship, Italy, about 1510. 

      Glazed earthenware tile floor, Spain, about 1425-50.

      Porcelain lidded vase, China, about 1662-1772.

      All objects from the J. Paul Getty Museum. 

      12/18/14

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