Museum Home Past Exhibitions Casting Nature: François-Thomas Germain's Machine d'Argent

July 11, 2006–March 25, 2007 at the Getty Center


All events are free, unless otherwise noted. Seating reservations are required. For reservations and information, please call (310) 440-7300 or use the Make Reservation buttons below.


The Art of the Chase: Hunting and Dining in 18th-Century Europe
Hunting—the privilege and passion of the nobility—was a lively source of inspiration for silversmiths and ceramic factories in 18th-century Europe. Still lifes of game, fish, and vegetables weighted down tureens and table centerpieces, while scenes of the hunt were painted, modeled, and engraved on a variety of tableware. Tracey Albainy, senior curator of decorative arts and sculpture, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, examines the impact of the vogue for the hunt on the 18th-century table, from the happy informality of the hunt picnic to the elaborate setting of the court banquet.

Sunday, October 8, 2006, 4:00 p.m.
Harold M. Williams Auditorium, Getty Center


Painting versus Sculpture in the 18th Century
Mikael Ahlund, curator of 18th-century painting and sculpture, the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, explores the academic rivalry between painters and sculptors in the 18th century, using as a point of reference the work of the sculptor-silversmiths Thomas Germain and his son, François-Thomas Germain, and the painter François Desportes.

Reservations available beginning September, 2006

February 7, 2007, 3:00–5:00 p.m.
Museum Lecture Hall, Getty Center

Machine d'Argent, detail / Germain

Curator's Gallery Talks

Jeffrey Weaver, assistant curator of sculpture and decorative arts, the J. Paul Getty Museum, leads a one-hour talk on the exhibition. Meet under the stairs in the Museum Entrance Hall.

Thursdays, August 17, 2006, 2:30 p.m. and September 28, 2006, 1:30 p.m.
Museum galleries, Getty Center

GettyGuide™ Audio Player

Learn more about the Machine d'Argent, the Germain workshop, and the 18th-century fascination with replicating nature in art.
Available anytime in the Museum Entrance Hall, Getty Center.