Question of the Week

Posted in Education, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum

Question of the Week: Is It Still a Man’s World?

Car Hood / Judy Chicago

In 1964, while a student in UCLA’s graduate program in painting and sculpture, artist Judy Chicago enrolled in auto-body school—the only woman in a class of 250 men. They were all there to learn how to custom-paint cars with candy-colored… More»

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Posted in Art, Education, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Question of the Week: Where Is the Line between Private and Public?

The Model Resting / Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Where is the line between private and public? Each situation has a different answer—and sometimes many different possible answers. As an example, take this painting by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Lautrec portrays a woman seen from above and behind as she… More»

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Posted in Art, Education, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Question of the Week: Can Love Last Forever?

Venus and Adonis / Massimiliano Soldani Benzi

Can love outlast death? Love and desire sizzle in this sculpture showcasing Venus and Adonis. Venus is desperately in love with Adonis, a handsome mortal. However, fate has it that goddess of love will not hold onto her man. Preferring… More»

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Posted in Art, Education, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Photographs, Film, and Video

Question of the Week: Do Americans See the World through a Distorted Lens?

Sol and Cuba, Old Havana, Looking North from Alberto Roja's 1951 Plymouth, Havana, Alex Harris, negative, May 23, 1998; print, December 2007. Chromogenic print, 30 1/8 x 37 3/4 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010.90.3. Gift of Michael and Jane Wilson, Wilson Centre for Photography © Alex Harris
Sol and Cuba, Old Havana, Looking North from Alberto Roja's 1951 Plymouth, Havana, Alex Harris, negative, May 23, 1998; print, December 2007. Chromogenic print, 30 1/8 x 37 3/4 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010.90.3. Gift of Michael and Jane Wilson, Wilson Centre for Photography © Alex Harris

Initially designating himself an “ignorant American,” photographer Alex Harris went to Cuba in 1998, camera in tow, without preconceived notions. He simply wondered what photography could tell him about this neighboring country that he, along with so many other Americans,… More»

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Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Question of the Week: When Are Memories More Vivid Than Life Itself?

Details of the Arch of Severus and the Temple of Vespasian from J. M. W. Turner's Modern Rome - Campo Vaccino

Do you have memories that feel more real than your life today? British painter J. M. W. Turner did, and they are the subject of this painting. The year is 1839. Turner, now in his 60s, has not set foot… More»

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Posted in Art, Education, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Question of the Week: How Have You Been Called to Charity?

The Vision of Saint Francis of Paola, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, about 1670. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003.144

Have you been called to acts of service? Did you answer the call? Saint Francis of Paola, who lived in the 1400s, was called. Two moments of divine intercession are paired in The Vision of Saint Francis of Paola by… More»

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Posted in Education, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Question of the Week: What Makes a Painting a Masterpiece?

Disegno and Colore, Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri), about 1640. Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. Photo © Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden

What makes a painting a masterwork? Take part in this historic debate about the elements of line and color, as personified by a wise, old man and a sensuous young woman in Guercino’s Disegno and Colore. Italian draftsman and painter… More»

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Posted in Art, Education, J. Paul Getty Museum

Question of the Week: Demure or Coquettish? Revealing or Concealing?

Bust of Madame Recamier, Joseph Chinard, about 1801–1802. Terracotta, 24 7/8 in. high. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 88.SC.42

Can an artist do justice to a beautiful woman? This sensuous terracotta bust by Joseph Chinard captures the elegance and grace of legendary beauty Juliette Récamier, a socialite renowned for her wit and notorious for her love affairs. Holding a… More»

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Posted in Art, Education, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Question of the Week: Is the Viewer Part of an Artwork?

Entrance to the Jardin Turc, Louis-Léopold Boilly, 1812. Oil on canvas, 28 7/8 x 35 7/8 in.

More than 60 people sit, chat, and play in this elaborate composition outside the entrance to the Jardin Turc, or Turkish Garden Café, in early-1800s Paris. The café was known for its spacious gardens, exotic pavilions, and excellent ice cream,… More»

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Posted in Art, Education, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Question of the Week: Does Art Have to Be Serious?

Self-Portrait, Yawning, Joseph Ducreux, before 1783. Oil on canvas, 45 x 35 in.

Nowadays, seeing a silly picture of a person is hardly unusual. Showing personality is a good thing. Social customs weren’t quite the same in 18th-century France, when Joseph Ducreux painted this self-portrait. An official court painter, he was known for refined… More»

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      Olympian Census #4: Aphrodite

      Get the stats on your favorite (and not-so-favorite) gods and goddesses on view at the Getty Center.

      Roman name: Venus

      Employment: Goddess of Love and Beauty

      Place of residence: Mount Olympus

      Parents: Born out of sea foam formed when Uranus’s castrated genitals were thrown into the ocean

      Marital status: Married to Hephaestus, the God of Blacksmiths, but had many lovers, both immortal and mortal

      Offspring: Aeneas, Cupid, Eros, Harmonia, Hermaphroditos, and more

      Symbol: Dove, swan, and roses

      Special talent: Being beautiful and sexy could never have been easier for this Greek goddess

      Highlights reel:

      • Zeus knew she was trouble when she walked in (Sorry, Taylor Swift) to Mount Olympus for the first time. So Zeus married Aphrodite to his son Hephaestus (Vulcan), forming the perfect “Beauty and the Beast” couple.
      • When Aphrodite and Persephone, the queen of the underworld, both fell in love with the beautiful mortal boy Adonis, Zeus gave Adonis the choice to live with one goddess for 1/3 of the year and the other for 2/3. Adonis chose to live with Aphrodite longer, only to die young.
      • Aphrodite offered Helen, the most beautiful mortal woman, to Paris, a Trojan prince, to win the Golden Apple from him over Hera and Athena. She just conveniently forgot the fact that Helen was already married. Oops. Hello, Trojan War!

      Olympian Census is a 12-part series profiling gods in art at the Getty Center.

      08/03/15

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