Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

The Princess Is Back

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, was wheeled away (very gently—here is evidence) to make room for a new arrival, J.M.W. Turner’s Modern Rome-Campo Vaccino.

Visitors were quick to notice the princess’s departure and demand to know when she’d be back. So, good news: she’s taken up residence just one room over from her former home, in Gallery W201.

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

Checking out her new digs: Portrait of Leonilla, Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, Franz Xaver Winterhalter, 1843. Oil on canvas, 56 x 83 1/2 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 86.PA.534

It’s true that the princess has to put up with a smaller wall than she presided over before. But she was a woman renowned for her intellect as well as her beauty, and I like to think she’s having a blast getting to know her new neighbors, which include a Roman emperor, an exotic horseman, a brooding Romantic, and a racy trio of lovers.

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    • photo from Tumblr

      The boxer is resting in the Getty Museum’s galleries through November 1.

      He’s older, he’s muscular, he’s exhausted. This less than idealized figure is typical of the Hellenistic style of sculpture that celebrated the portrait as a way to portray emotion.

      So what do you think, did he win or lose?


      Seated Boxer, “The Terme Boxer,” 300–200 B.C., bronze and copper. Museo Nazionale Romano—Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Rome. Su concessione del Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo—Soprintendenza Speciale per il Colosseo, il Museo Nazionale Romano e l’area archeologica di Roma. Photo © Vanni Archive / Art Resource, NY

      08/01/15

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