Cambodian Bronzes

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

The Buddha in Medieval Europe?

Left: Crowned Buddha, Cambodian, Angkor period, 1100s, bronze. National Museum of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. Right: King Avenir and Josaphat in Conversation (detail) in Barlaam and Josaphat, Follower of Hans Schilling, 1469. The J. Paul Getty Museum, MS. LUDWIG XV 9, fol. 320v

What does a 12th-century bronze sculpture from Cambodia have in common with a 15th-century manuscript from Germany?  Both, surprisingly, relate to the story of the Buddha. The exhibition Gods of Angkor: Bronzes from the National Museum of Cambodia is displayed… More»

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Posted in Conservation, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Conservation Institute, Getty Foundation, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Cambodia’s Enduring Mystery

Shiva's Bull, Nandin.  The National Museum of Cambodia.

The exhibition Gods of Angkor: Bronzes from the National Museum of Cambodia now on view at the Getty Center is a rare opportunity to experience first-hand the unique artistry of Khmer sculpture outside of Cambodia. At its height, the Khmer… More»

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      #ThyCaptionBe: You Look Like Hell

      You captioned this detail. And we’re revealing the full story now.

      Escaping the in-laws or medieval Sea World? It’s actually an extreme punishment for a dress code violation. 

      Here’s the full story:

      The Christian tale of Saint Josaphat is roughly based on the life of the Buddha in a kind of medieval game of telephone, in which the sources for the text passed through Christian circles in the Middle East in the 8th century before appearing in European versions in the 11th century. 

      Here an unsuitably dressed guest—we can see that his tattered clothing and scruffy facial hair have no place at the well-dressed gathering—is cast into the dark, open mouth of a terrifying animal. 

      To make matters worse, the story is a parable in which Barlaam, Josaphat’s Christian teacher, describes the sinful who do not make the cut at the Last Judgment.

      Holiday Lesson: Always check the dress code.

      #ThyCaptionBe is a celebration of modern interpretations of medieval aesthetics. You guess what the heck is going on, then we myth-bust.


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