death

Posted in Art & Archives, J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books, technology

Medieval Manuscripts and Digital Curation

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry virtual exhibition

From tasty to terrifying, three virtual exhibits explore the wealth of illuminated manuscripts. More»

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Posted in Art & Archives, Getty Research Institute, Prints and Drawings

Laying Louis XIV to Rest

Representation of the Place Where the Body of Louis XIV, King of France, Was Laid Out in the Church of Saint-Denis
Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des Estampes et de la Photographie, Qb-1 (1715). Photo credit: BnF

Why are there so few images of Louis XIV’s death? More»

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Posted in Art & Archives, J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books

Deathly Meditations in Medieval Manuscripts

The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian, Master of Sir John Fastolf, about 1430-40. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 5, fol. 36v
The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian, Master of Sir John Fastolf, about 1430-40. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 5, fol. 36v

Death is coming. Prepare with these images from illuminated manuscripts. More»

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Posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Art & Archives, Editor's Picks, Getty Villa

15 Deathiest Objects at the Getty Villa

Roman Miniature Posable Skeleton

A death-themed tour of the Getty Villa collection. More»

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Posted in Art, Art & Archives, Getty Villa

Are Westerners Weird about Death?

19th-century mummy, Burgio, Sicily (detail)
Photo courtesy of and © Paul Koudounaris

“After the Enlightenment, we made a very determined effort to ghettoize the dead.” More»

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Posted in Antiquities, Art & Archives, Getty Villa

Death Salon Getty Villa: From Ancient Necropolis to LA’s Metropolis

Sarcophagus with Scenes from the Life of Achilles / Roman
Sarcophagus with Scenes from the Life of Achilles, A.D. 180–200, Roman. Made in Athens, Greece. Marble, 83 1/16 in. wide. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 95.AA.80

What is Death Salon—and why? More»

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Posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Art & Archives

Beware the Ides of March

Beware the Ides of March / Julius Caesar
Consult a good soothsayer before heading out this weekend. Artwork: Portrait of Julius Caesar (detail) from the Forum of Trajan, Rome. National Archaeological Museum, Naples, Inv. 6038. Photo: S. Sosnovskiy, 2008

If the sacrificial liver looks bad, stay home…and other soothsaying wisdom from ancient Rome. More»

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Posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Art & Archives, Editor's Picks, Voices

Mystery Cults and the Mother Goddess

Orphic Prayer Sheet / Greek
Orphic Prayer Sheet, Greek, 350-300 B.C. Gold, 1 7/16 x 7/8 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 75.AM.19. Gift of Lenore Barozzi

Only initiates could take part in the rites of the mystery cult, and they were forbidden to ever speak of what occurred. More»

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      #ProvenancePeek: Titian in Boston

      Every art object has a story—not only of how it was made, but of how it changed hands over time until it found its current home. That story is provenance.

      Portrait of a Man Holding a Book, in the collection of Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, is no exception. The MFA carefully details the painting’s Italian provenance on its collection page, but the path of this object even since then is complex.

      Between 1901 and 1907, Portrait of a Man Holding a Book entered the stock of no less than three galleries, purchased from the Italian family who owned it first by Agnew’s in London, then by Trotti in Paris, and then by Cottier in New York (marking its movement from the Old World to the New). A collector purchased it from Cottier, and the painting was held privately for 36 years.

      That collector was Frederick Bayley Pratt (1865–1945), son of Charles Pratt, oil magnate and founder of the Brooklyn Institute that bears his family’s name (incidentally, this writer’s alma mater!). 

      The Knoedler Gallery dealt frequently with members of the Pratt family. A quick peek into the searchable database of Knoedler’s stock books turns up nine instances in which a Pratt (Charles and Mary, Frederick’s parents, or Herbert and John, his brothers) bought works, as well as five instances where they sold works. This Titian portrait is one of those instances. Frederick Pratt sold the work to Knoedler in early April of 1943, and by the 10th, it had been snapped up by the Museum of Fine Arts.

      Knoedler shared the sale with Pinakos, an art-dealing concern owned and operated by Rudolf J. Heinemann. Purchasing works in tandem with other dealers was a widespread practice amongst powerful art galleries of the time; nearly 6,000 records in the Knoedler database had joint ownership.

      The stock books of the Knoedler Gallery have recently been transformed into a searchable database that anyone can query for free. You can find this Titian under stock number A2555.

      Portrait of a Man Holding a Book, about 1540, Titian (Tiziano Vecellio). Oil on canvas. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Charles Potter Kling Fund. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; stock and sales books documenting the painting’s sale by M. Knoedler & Co.

      _______

      ProvenancePeek is a monthly series by research assistant Kelly Davis peeking into provenance finds from the M. Knoedler & Co. archive at the Getty Research Institute.

      04/29/16

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