Portrait of Joseph Gulston and his Brother John Gulston (detail), 1754, Francis Cotes. Pastel on blue paper; in original gilt wood, "Carlo", frame. The J. Paul Getty Museum
Opening This Month
Sir James Gray, 2nd Bt., 1744–45, Rosalba Carriera. Pastel on paper. The J. Paul Getty Museum
Fashionable Likeness: Pastel Portraits in 18th-Century Britain
November 1, 2016–May 7, 2017 | The Getty Center
Exploring the world of pastel portraiture in 18th-century Britain, this focused installation features works from the Museum's collection and two exceptional private loans. Portraits were increasingly commissioned by the newly rich, who, eager to assert their elevated social status, displayed the latest fashions. The luminous pastel medium effectively captured sitters' elaborate hairstyles, sumptuous clothing, and fleeting expressions, yielding some of the most evocative and spirited art of the time.
The Planet Mercury as a Doctor on Horseback (detail), from Descriptions of Planets, Zodiacs, and Comets, about 1464. Watercolor and ink on paper bound between original wood boards covered with original pigskin. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. Ludwig XII 8 (83.MO.137), fol. 49
The Alchemy of Color in Medieval Manuscripts
Through January 1, 2017 | The Getty Center
Appreciated today for its aesthetic qualities, color during the Middle Ages was also understood for its material, scientific, and medicinal properties. The manufacturing of colored pigments and inks was part of the science of alchemy, the forerunner of modern chemistry. This exhibition presents current research into the materials used to produce the sumptuous colors that enliven manuscript pages and reveals remarkably diverse hues derived from plants, minerals, and metals.
Branchini Madonna (detail), 1427, Giovanni di Paolo. Tempera and gold leaf on panel. The Norton Simon Foundation, Pasadena, California
The Shimmer of Gold: Giovanni di Paolo in Renaissance Siena
Through January 8, 2017 | The Getty Center
Manuscript illuminator and panel painter Giovanni di Paolo was one of the most distinctive and imaginative artists in Renaissance Siena. This exhibition reunites several panels from one of his most important commissions—an altarpiece for the Branchini family chapel in the church of San Domenico in Siena—for the first time since its dispersal, and presents illuminated manuscripts and paintings by Giovanni and his close collaborators and contemporaries. Through recent technical findings, the exhibition reveals his creative use of gold and paint to achieve remarkable luminous effects in both media.
This exhibition features multipart photographic works by William Leavitt, Liza Ryan, Fazal Sheikh, and Whitney Hubbs that juxtapose images of people, places, and things in fragmentary, enigmatic narratives. When sequenced by the artist in a specific order, the images recall storyboards used for movies or animation; when excerpted from a larger series, they suggest a stream-of-consciousness meditation on a theme.
Alchemical Equipment (detail), ca. 1700. From "Traité de Chymie," [Treatise on Chemistry] (France, ca. 1700), pp. 10–11. 950053.2
The Art of Alchemy
Through February 12, 2017
This exhibition reveals how alchemy—the precursor to modern chemistry—influenced artistic practice from antiquity through the modern age. Inventions born from alchemical laboratories include metal alloys for sculpture and ornament, oil paints, effects in glassmaking, and even the chemical baths of photography. Drawn primarily from the collections of the Getty Research Institute and the Getty Museum, The Art of Alchemy examines the legacy of this arcane subject in today's world.
Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 3:00 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, November 20, 2016 at 3:00 p.m.
| The Getty Villa
Inspired by the the myth of the minotaur, Asterion explores the life of one man who has seen the dark side of his nature and fights to regain his humanity. This visceral, physical, and poetic retelling is conceived by Katharine Noon, developed by the Ghost Road Company, and reflects the ensemble's recent work with renowned Polish theater company, Teatr Zar. Tickets $7.
This feature-length poetic mediation on color, death, and the void is presented outdoors on the Getty's Garden Terrace. The film's projection of pure monochrome blue is set against the deepening night sky. This unique screening event includes a surround-sound experience of Jarman's courageous and moving text narrated by Tilda Swinton, Nigel Terry, and John Quentin, and the exceptional ambient musical soundtrack by Simon Fisher Turner with Brian Eno, Coil, and others. Free; advance ticket required.
Saturday, November 12, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. | The Getty Center
Dive into the wonderful world of color in this daylong family festival. Immerse yourself in red, blue, and gold through multidimensional color stations. Experience the rainbow through theater with live music and puppets, science experiments, a giant spinning color wheel, and a commemorative mini coloring book. This Getty-wide event takes you from ROY to G. BIV for a day of learning and fun. Free; no ticket required.
Saturday, November 5, 2:00 p.m. | The Getty Center
Venice's increasingly imperiled fate has become emblematic of the future of historic cities everywhere as it capitulates to tourists and those who profit from them. Art historian Salvatore Settis argues that "hit and run" tourists are turning landmark urban settings into malls and theme parks and warns that Western civilization's prime achievements face ruin from mass tourism and global cultural homogenization. Free; advance ticket required.
A bronze weapon found in the tomb: a three-foot long slashing sword with an ivory handle covered with gold. Image courtesy of the University of Cincinnati, Pylos Excavations
A Prince of Pylos: The Tomb of the Griffin Warrior
Sunday, November 6, 3:00 p.m.
| The Getty Villa
In 2015, archaeologists were astonished to find a 3,500-year-old undisturbed shaft grave near the site of the Palace of Nestor at Pylos in southwestern Greece. Excavators Shari Stocker and Jack Davis share their discovery of a Bronze Age warrior's tomb and the hundreds of luxury objects buried with him including spectacular weapons, ivory combs, seal stones, and Minoan-style gold rings, which afford unparalleled insights into art and ritual at the dawn of Mycenaean civilization. Free; advance ticket required.
Tuesday, November 15, 7:00 p.m. | The Getty Center
Celebrated performance artist Marina Abramovic discusses her new memoir, Walk Through Walls, an epic account of her career that involves pushing her body past the limits of fear, pain, and exhaustion in a quest for emotional and spiritual transformation. Free; advance ticket required.
Initial A: Christ Appearing to David, 1440, Giovanni di Paolo. Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 29 (87.MS.133), recto
Giovanni di Paolo: The 20th-Century Rediscovery of a Renaissance Painter
Wednesday, November 30, 7:00 p.m. | The Getty Center
Giovanni di Paolo was one of the greatest Sienese painters of the Renaissance. In this talk, Davide Gasparotto, senior curator of paintings, explores di Paolo's intense, fertile imagination and highly individual way of using line and color, and explains how these features of di Paolo's work contributed to his rediscovery in the early 20th century, and how modern art historians and collectors interpreted di Paolo's poetic visions in connection with modern art. Free; advance ticket required.
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