Monthly Archives: March 2012

Posted in Behind the Scenes, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Research Institute

Treasures from the Vault: The Sky Gets a Chance! Gordon Matta-Clark Works on View at the Research Library

Display case of Gordon Matta-Clark materials at the Getty Research Institute framed against the sky

A new display case about American artist Gordon Matta-Clark just opened at the Research Library at the Getty Research Institute. I selected the items in the small case—which is just past the reception desk of the Research Institute lobby—from the archive… More»

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Posted in J. Paul Getty Museum, Prints and Drawings

From Auction to Gallery: A Major Renaissance Portrait Drawing for the Getty

Portrait of a Young Man, Head and Shoulders, Wearing a Cap / Piero del Pollaiuolo

I find auctions terrifying. Mesmerizing, but terrifying. When a major early Renaissance portrait drawing came up for auction at Sotheby’s in New York a month ago, my stomach was in my mouth. It was the sort of drawing one hardly… More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books

The Manuscript Files: An Impish Ape in a Medieval Zoo

Adam Naming the Animals in the Northumberland Bestiary / English

One of my favorite acquisitions of the past five years in the Getty’s manuscript collection is the Northumberland Bestiary (Ms. 100), featured currently in the Gothic Grandeur exhibition. A bestiary is a kind of medieval encyclopedia of animals. In addition… More»

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      The Queen Who Wasn’t

      Louis XIV clandestinely wed his mistress, Madame de Maintenon, at Versailles on October 9 or 10, 1683. The marriage was much gossiped about but never openly acknowledged. She was never queen.

      Madame de Maintenon had been the {judgy} governess to Louis XIV’s children by his previous mistress, Madame de Montespan. Louis gave these children moneyed titles—such as the comte de Toulouse, who ordered the tapestries shown here for his residence outside Paris.

      Louis’s secret marriage ushered in a period of religious fervor, in sharp contrast to the light-hearted character of his early reign. Madame de Maintenon was known for her Catholic piety, and founded a school for the education of impoverished noble girls at Saint-Cyr in 1686 that stayed in operation until 1793. This engraving of the Virgin and Child was dedicated to her by the king.

      Virgin and Child, late 1600s, Jean-Louis Roullet after Pierre Mignard; Johann Ulrich Stapf, engraver. The Getty Research Institute. Tapestries from the Emperor of China series. The J. Paul Getty Museum


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