The close relationships between artists and authors in 19th-century France is evidenced in the illustrious novels of Honoré de Balzac, Émile Zola, Marcel Proust, J. K. Huysmans, and Guy de Maupassant. These novelists wrote about painting, created painters as characters, and physically described characters in the vein of their painter-friends. Anka Muhlstein, author of “The Pen and The Brush: How Passion for Art Shaped Nineteenth-Century French Novels,” discusses how the intimate exchange between authors and artists influenced the literary current of the time.
Although Jackson Pollock’s iconic “Mural” (1943) may appear to have been swiftly executed, close examination of the paint and archival photographs reveals otherwise. In the second half of a two-part conversation, Laura Rivers and Yvonne Szafran, conservators at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Alan Phenix and Tom Learner, scientists at the Getty Conservation Institute, and Andrew Perchuk, deputy director at the Getty Research Institute, focus on how conservation and scientific analysis enhance our art historical understanding of Pollock and his work.